Naibunga Conservancy being rejuvenated

Patrick Siparo is one of NRT’s Regional Coordinators who provides on-ground support to a cluster of conservancies in what we call the Ngare Ndare Region. These include Il Ngwesi, Lekurruki, Ngare Ndare, Naibunga and the newest NRT Conservancy Mpus Kutuk (or Kipsing). His role is to provide support to the conservancies in management, community liaison, conflict resolution on a regular basis – consistent engagement with communities and the conservancies is key to sustaining support for conservation. Below is an update from him on Naibunga conservancy which is located in Laikipia District; NRT is working with a number of different organisations in Naibunga including Laikipia Wildlife Forum and African Wildlife Foundation……..

Naibunga is a Maasai word that means , togetherness, coined to refer to the nine group ranches that have come together to conserve the wildlife in Naibunga Conservancy Trust land, totaling above two hundred thousand acres. Naibunga has elephants sometimes seen in hundreds , common Zebra , gravy zebra , Thompson’s & Grants gazelles , Lesser and greater Kudus, Impalas, Gerenuk, cheetahs ,lions wild dogs just to mention a few. Naibungas dream is to fully protect their wildlife from poaching, protect their livestock from cattle rustling and hope that in the process the community can earn tourism income.

Naibunga is founder member of the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) being one of the fifteen conservancies that formed the service providing & facilitating trust created to uplift livelihoods through wildlife conservation in northern

Kenya

. In November 07 the trustees and some community members went on a peer exchange visit to conservancies under NRT, they were pleasantly surprised, their findings ignited renewed energy and new knowledge on how to move faster towards driving Naibunga towards its conservation goals

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Naibunga scouts with snares recovered in the field

At a brainstorming meeting after the tour it was not surprising when the nine group ranches gave as their first priority, security. The trusties through the meeting requested NRT to fundraise for scout operating expenses, rations uniforms and training. By April 08 the NRT had secured 30,379$. In the same month eighteen scouts, three radio operators and a security coordinator were recruited by the community, then trained at Lewa on basic game scout security operation and monitoring. The team is now in the field and are doing what they were trained to do, conducting patrols and retrieving snares. The scouts are walking on average thirty Kilometers per day to ensure their boot prints are seen in every corner of the conservancies. Their presence has immensely boosted wildlife, livestock and people security. Giraffes that were rarely seen, now frequent the group ranch areas, an encouraging sign to the community that their decision to place security as first priority is bearing fruit. This however is only the first step the security component must be accompanied by building the capacity of the board members, recruiting a manager and having an effective radio network, purchasing a vehicle for security. The board’s single minded resolve that their community is best served through conservation has gained momentum and the future for wildlife conservation in the nine group ranches of Naibunga is definitely brighter.

Patrick Siparo – NRT Regional Coordinator, Ngare Ndare

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