By Fabian Mangera and
ISIOLO, Kenya, Nov. 17 (Xinhua)
-- The U.S. government on Sunday donated two
security patrol vehicles to community conservancies in northern
Kenya to boost anti-poaching efforts by protecting elephants
whose numbers have dwindled in the recent past.
Kareen Freeman, Kenya mission
director of the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID), also pledged financial assistance and
expertise in order to combat the poaching challenges in northern
need to sustain this effort and support community conservation
by working together and putting in place enabling environment
to curb poaching in the country,” Freeman said in Isiolo after
handing over the vehicles to the community conservancies in
Kalama, under the Northern Rangeland Trust.
The Northern Rangeland Trust is
behind the formation of community ranches for conservation
purposes in the region.
Freeman reiterated that the
American people remain committed to supporting those whose
livelihoods and investments depend on wildlife and conservation
through protecting the animals.
overall theme of my visit to the north has been resilience and
we know that Kenyans are creative and innovative people and I
have enjoyed seeing some community driven solutions” she said.
She hailed the Northern Range
Land Trust for its work in community conservancies, adding that
their initiative had improved the lives and livelihoods of more
than 280,000 people.
The Northern Rangelands Trust
helps communities to speak with a unified voice, to better
manage livestock and wildlife in harmony and to reap the
benefits of tourism that come with strong stewardship of the
The conservancies’ umbrella body
has trained and equipped 620 community rangers to provide
security for people and wildlife in partnership with the Kenya
Wildlife Service and the local police administration.
Conservancy Chief Manager Tom
Lalampa said the main objective was to ensure a safe environment
that is hospitable to wildlife through better conservancy
The conservancy has attracted
millions of dollars of private sector eco-tourism investments in
these communities for the last 15 years.
Lalampa, who recently won a UN
award for his effort in protecting the wildlife, said unique
cultural change is taking root in the conservancy areas.
He said pastoralist women and
girls are now elected as chairpersons of conservancy boards,
successfully mediating peace among traditional multiethnic
tribes that were previously at war with each other.
many conservancies, women comprise more than 30 percent of
board membership and young women are gaining employment as
community rangers and as accountants, managers, and chefs in
the thriving tourism operations in the conservancies,” said