CONSERVATION?? two steps forward but sadly sometimes a step back..

This was sadly the situation this March 2015 up in the Ndoto mountains.. The sight of the fires was just so terrible that of course I did not think of  taking pictures.. this was the sight at night, every day another fire..

This year the Ndoto Mountains were a victim of human idiocracy, burning the mountains because of disagreements..

This year the Ndoto Mountains were a victim of human idiocracy, burning the mountains because of disagreements..

It is difficult to deal with fires as no one actually lives on the mountain, except in the dry season people take their cattle up to graze the slopes. Once a fire has taken off it is impossible to stop as the slopes are very very steep and the winds are unbelievably strong coming from the deserts in the east, so a tiny fire is huge with in minutes.. Some fires were caused accidentally by honey harvesters, this year there was a bumper crop of honey, and sadly people are casual about dropping the fire that they light to smoke out the bees.. This we are addressing every day..

Some fires were lit deliberately to antagonise others as a result of political disagreements, and tracing them was difficult and dangerous. The perpetrators threatened anyone who tried to approach the problem.  BUT Our manager, and scouts together with the elders, have been dealing with the problem in their quiet way,  holding community meetings, and the results are very positive, in that the elders, who were very angry, took up the challenge and consequently charged some hefty fines on the 5 families involved to address this problem.

This sight was every day, every night for over a week in march.. a very worrisome thing..

This sight was every day, every night for over a week in march.. a very worrisome thing..

and this is the result..

A sorry sight for the eyes.. I was shocked beyond belief when I saw this plus there was a fire still burning on the top in the forest..

A sorry sight for the eyes.. I was shocked beyond belief when I saw this plus there was a fire still burning on the top in the forest..

This fire burn't for days.. theres no way of putting them out..

This forest fire burn’t for days.. theres no way of putting them out..

Other challenges.. in february we climbed up into the Ndotos and by chance came across this Ceder tree that had been cut down.. So again our scouts have been following up on this to see where it is being taken to..

Cut ceder tree.. I have to say after 2 days of climbing the mountain, I do wonder how they get a tree this big down..

Cut ceder tree.. I have to say after 2 days of climbing the mountain, I do wonder how they get a tree this big down..

Our poor mountain… …. It looks sad here..

The next  morning, a strange eery feeling  reigned over these poor mountains.. I just can not imagine how any one can light a fire on perpose..

The  morning after a huge fire, a strange eery feeling reigned over these poor mountains.. I just can not imagine how any one can light a fire on purpose..

Its been very dry over the last few months, and worrying times for our Elephants getting to water.. Luckily he escaped falling in..

This Elephant nearly slipped head first into this deep well..

This Elephant nearly slipped head first into this deep well..

A night mare scenario, of an Elephant looking for water and slipping headfirst into the well.. A night mare scenario, of an Elephant looking for water and slipping into the well..

This young Elephant was not so lucky,and fell in head first.. The people who dig these wells try to cover them but a thirsty Elephant is not interrested in being polite

This young Elephant was not so lucky,and fell in head first.. The people who dig these wells try to cover them but a thirsty Elephant is not interrested in being polite

During the dry time earlier this year we lost two young elephants. One approx. 2 year old, fell into a water hole head first and died immediately. (the remains in this picture is all thats left by the hyenas)   We are doing all we can to avoid these incidences, by covering as many wells as possible but the elephants are determined, sometimes removing the sticks, or even trying to drink from very deep wells – as above!. The elephants survive during these dry spells from wells dug by the Samburu and Rendille people,, and often completely ruin the wells, but the people are very accommodating… We thank them for that and in our next blog we cover some of the subjects on the benefits the people are getting to try to appease so that every one lives together.. The Milgis Trust was set up to save the elephants from a repeat of the poaching times in the 1970 and 80s , and to give them space and a peaceful place to live so actually the benefits to the people comes directly from the elephants, as this picture below depicts.. It is on the wall of our nursary school that we built in Latakwen for every one to see..

The other death, an approx. 1 year old, was found on his own, and picked up by some herd boys who got frightened, so released him, unfortunately before they reported to us. Our scouts followed up, but were hampered by the extremely thick bush on the Luggas, and then the difficulty of confirming whether his mother was with the herd he joined. Yet, all seemed to be under control and he appeared to be eating well but, unfortunately, he left the herd and was later seen with two male elephants. Before we could get help for him, he was killed by hyenas.

Its almost impossible to stop an elephant trying to drink from this well,but luckily if in the unfortunate event one does slip in at least they can break the walls and get out.. the issue is the thirsty people arrive to collect water the next morning and find the well destroyed! Our scouts try their best to avoid these problems..

Its almost impossible to stop an elephant trying to drink from this well,but luckily if in the unfortunate event one does slip in at least they can break the walls and get out.. the issue is the thirsty people arrive to collect water the next morning and find the well destroyed! Our scouts try their best to avoid these problems.. Note the scare crow, dressed in blue!

Sadly also a mother and new born calf were found dead in the North/East of the Matthews, but its seems she must have died through birth complications.. There was no sign of ‘foul play’

This is a huge painting on the outside of the latakwen nursary school, any one coming from that side will see it.!!

WE CAN AND DO LIVE TOGETHER!!..This is a huge painting on the outside of the latakwen nursary school, any one coming from that side will see it.!!

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4 thoughts on “CONSERVATION?? two steps forward but sadly sometimes a step back..

  1. Oh Dear Helen and Pete, What a very sad message for a World Earth day. So so sorry. Could not answer in the right place 9would not open for me) so am sending this. Much love Sue

  2. Hello Helen – I suppose caused by human activity….either intentionally or unintentionally….clearing land for shambas? livestock grazing? charcoal burners, smoking out bee hives? So little forest cover left in Kenya (and around the world)…such a shame.
    All my love to you and Pete,
    Katherine

    • Thank-you Katherine, for your steadfast support of Helen’s work. Without folks like you, the fine work that Helen, Pete and The Milgis Trust accomplish, would be much more difficult. You are appreciated!
      Patrick Webb
      NWHS

  3. Helen, staggering. I do hope you are all OK and that many of the animals could get away. I hope it regenerates quickly. Send new pictures when it has.

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