The ‘inferno’ in the desert is at last EXTINGUISHED!

SONG in the AIR and people walking home with a SPRING in their step… some of them have 200-300 kms to go BUT they are taking it all in their stride, enjoying the moment ….   Finally the burning inferno of heat and drought is gone…

18 months of NO RAIN out in the Kaisut and Chalbi Deserts, and most of Marsabit county .. This is what it felt like by the end..

the clouds finally gathered and the things are really looking up for the dwellers of the desert..

Big clouds gathering finally to extinguish the heat, and bring some hope

Bringing some hope to the hundreds thousands of pastoralists who for over a year have been on the move.. I have mentioned it several times in my blogs of the haunting problem of ‘no rain’ , and this year was very very harsh out towards the east of the Ndoto, Nyiru and Kulal mountains, .. Culminating over the past 14 months, in many thousands of people traveling long long distances towards the west into Samburu county in search for food for their very hungry livestock, .. ..

a rainbow around the moon.. has to be a really good sign!

But just before it rained, Lesoloyia came across these two bulls taking risks to find water …

These two bulls taking huge risks to find water in the Perre Lugga in the West side of the Ndotos..

probing in each dangerous water hole for a drink.. The people had deserted these wells for greener pastures..

Not a good position to be in for just a simple drink..

Hes obviously getting some water but too precarious for our liking..

For an old boy this is too risky

Because of some wonderful kind donations that just keep coming in from good people through our friend Catman of NWHS, ( THANK YOU AS ALWAYS) I would particularly like to mention our friend Pirjo from Finland and Beverly from the states for their incredibly kind monthly donations,  AND of course all other kind people that support the Milgis, as it all goes top the same goal..  Lesoloyia imediately decided to dig what we call a ‘Eley friendly well’..A well where the Elephant can walk in and walk out, BUT of course this must be maintained every day because the Elephants have a ‘field night’ every day!!

VERY VERY VERY sadly we had one very awfal night when this little youngster was found stuck in a well, the day before the rain, down on the lower Milgis near Ndonyo Waas.. He was found having fallen backwards down a very small deep well, with hard sides.. The community called our resident Milgis scout who with a whole lot of people from the area managed to dig him out , after well over 12 hours of uncomfortably, in the hot sun, standing on his haunches, in water .. once they removed him they called the base at 6 pm.. We all hoped the herd would come back.. He belowed almost all night for mum, and so so sorry to say mum was nowhere to be seen..  .. VERY stressfull for every one involved..

After over 12 hours stuck in a well, and the hot sun bearing down on him, the little one was very weak..

Our team from Lkanto arrived at 9 pm BUT Lesoloyia found the youngster very weak.. He called us to warn the people in Reteti that maybe he needs help quickly..  Luckily after a bit of rehydrate he improved and fell asleep.. Even snored.. He was surrounded by four kind people in the middle of the lugga, hoping for a miracle.. Mum to pitch up?? BUT it did not happen.. About 1 am it started raining and our little guy woke up and proceeded to bellow for mum.. Later on in the night, after a 4 hour drive, the team from Reteti arrived with more rehydrate and tried to comfort him..

After a night hoping mum came back a decision had to be taken for him to go to an orphanage..

a little fiesty chap.. Adorable.. Poor little guy he was probably having lots of fun rushing around playing and suddenly he was in ‘prison’ down a water hole that probably was saving his herd… These things happen, and all we can hope is he is back to being happy, with all the other elephants in Reteti elephant orphanage..

I hope he is doing well in Reteti…the night he was found the rain started, and this was the scene two days later, 30 kms west of the rescue, below our hill..  we could not get out !.. So superb widespread rain!..

A night of rain near our home, making it impossible to get out!

After 18 months of VERY LITTLE RAIN in the deserts to the east, Laisamis and mostly part of Marsabit county it has really rained.. REALLY POURED!! The deserts now will be absolutely beautiful, and full of life!

Then the migration started! every one packed their donkeys and started heading home.. it was mayhem…

Such a simple life!!! This is all the belongings of a family on their way home!.. WE, the modern world NEED TO SIMPLIFY!!

Livestock and their owners on the move!.. some going one way, some going another

I dont know where they were all hiding, But every single hill,  lugga, any where you looked was covered in livestock all on the move, we are completely surrounded by migrating animals!

Every where we looked there were people and their livestock moving east..


eleys really enjoying the mud!

Mud all over himself

A herd of goats going one way an elephant the other!

Herd of Eleys browsing in the bushes surrounded by migrating animals

On the hill ,

they are so relaxed the baby has gone to sleep

I think one of the big issues with the resident Samburu, is the cutting of trees to make new boma’s each time they move.. BUT it seemed the message was getting through nicely.. Although I have to say many, many meetings later! As I have said before conservation is one step at a time, sometimes backwards!.. Also the growth of the human population is not stopping despite a massive amount of work on this.. so more needed from the same recourses…. WE KEEP AT IT !

the great thing they have learnt to use the old bomas

on their way back..

The rain has been fabulous.. Just to show you how green it is now!

this is how green it is!

Eley on our hill, his head immersed into the GREENERY.. LUXURY

many stories also from the residents  of their animals either being ‘stolen’? or just joining herds of moving animals?? The grass must be greener where these guys are going.. Even the animals are skipping!!


As with all migrations animals follow other animals and heres some people retrieving their donkeys!


NOW!!.. East side of the mountains

This is what it looked like a couple of weeks ago!

A lovely evening lugga crossing!!

We finish with two blessings!     after care for the MEAK eye mission..

Rather sweet, one of the old guys who had his cataracts replaced, is here blessing Jura the Nurse who came back to check on all the patients.. see the report

The Lmugets ( feasts of meat ), marking the end of the ceremonies, are all over in our area.. AND we now have a new age group of brand new warriors.. We watched in awe as the little girls sang, beckoning the warriors to come into the Larora for the last gathering of song and stern talking from the elders.. it was completely beautiful..

The beautiful very well organised Larora at Ilgwe Eldome.. The elders followed every rule in the ‘book’ *( the unwritten, very important rules in tribal tradition) They are the last in our area to finish the proceedings..     *( see the end info on the last blog)

The girls have joined the new warriors and are escorting them to the Larora..

the women dressed in beautiful red skins blessed the boys with milk as they enter the Larora.. from now on they are now men, they are the security, the army, the strength.. THE PROTECTORS..

And the final picture is of the cooking sticks stacked under this tree which is now sacred.. ( note the sticks in the picture above, behind the warriors, from 13 years ago, still there untouched )

AND finally the sticks that were used to cook the meat are all stacked in this tree..  This is now sacred tree.. Nobody must touch it!






2 thoughts on “The ‘inferno’ in the desert is at last EXTINGUISHED!

  1. So glad to see some significant rains finally arrived! Teaching the positives of human population control is so important to maintain a healthy environment for the benefit people, livestock and wildlife….hope the message gets through. Thank you Helen for all you do every day to help preserve this bit of paradise. All the best, Katherine Herzog

  2. How I love getting your posts Helen. Thank you. I am delighted about the rain, sad about the baby ellie, and concerned about the growing population! However, the photos are wonderful. My whole family is trying hard to simplify. It’s definitely the way forward.

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