#MountainDispatches from #MountKenya – Updates on projects

Lively elephant family in the Ragati bamboo. Photo courtesy of the Bongo Surveillance Project.

MOUNTAIN DISPATCHES
APRIL TO JUNE 2018

Welcome to this quarterly edition of our newsletter about Mount Kenya Trust projects. Our teams have been battling storms, avoiding washed away roads and pushing into new territories to support Mount Kenya and it’s people.

We have planted over a QUARTER of a MILLION trees this season – our personal best. Over the next few decades these seedlings will be left to regenerate into a mature forest inhabited by wildlife and other plant species. That’s because we intend to see our tree planting projects through to the point when the seedlings become saplings and the saplings become trees and the trees become a canopy. We are increasing our monitoring capacity all the time.

We are pleased with the Kenya Forest Service movement towards a more positive future with a tree planting launch in May and a further 6-month ban on logging within National Reserves nationwide.
Thank you to our supporters friends for helping keep our activities going and GROWING!

SPOTTED and STRIPPED!

We are excited to soon be starting a new project in partnership with Ragati Conservancy, the Bongo Surveillance Project (BSP), Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service (with funding from African Fund for Endangered Wildlife) to improve security and provide a permanent post for rangers around the Ragati area.

One camera in the Ragati Conservancy has shown many Bongo photos of a previously sighted female. The further good news is that other Bongo signs have been observed by footprints and dung. It appears that one could be a male and the second a female, and the dung both old and fresh.

Unfortunately, there are several signs of poachers intrusions and we hope to soon start patrols in this area alongside our partners. Watch this space!

Camera trap photos courtesy of BSP.

BOOK WORMS
Literature, art, biographies and reference books were donated to the Daraja Academy at El Karama by the SES group who visited earlier this year. The girl’s library will be full of series such as Harry Potter, biographies from Nelson Mandela and Barak and Michelle Obama, dictionaries and wildlife reference books such as the Helm Field Guide to the Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania.’Reading is such a kind and loyal companion through life for any book-worms and book lovers and I feel very moved seeing the girls with their books and thinking of them enjoying the windows on new worlds they offer. Delighted to see inspirational leaders in there too!’ Sophie Grant, El Karama.

World Environment Day

June 5 is marked by the United Nations as World Environment Day, a day set aside since 1974 to promote “worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.” ​

We celebrated by planting bamboo and tree seedlings along a river in the Kiambogo area of the Mount Kenya Forest Reserve.

As part of our ongoing planting with the community in the area, there was representation from the new Ontulili KFS Forest Manager, the Community Forestry Association, the Ngushishi Water Users Association the Mount Kenya Ewaso Water Partnership and three schools!

The theme this year was plastic awareness and we spread the word through the communities and leaders.

Working in the rain!

With downfalls aplenty this season, our dedicated and stead-fast team were out in all weathers to get their jobs done.

Our staff battled torrents, swept away roads, days of being stuck in the mud, tipped over lorries, washed out fences and wet, soggy moorlands and forests.

Top: Water running through the elephant corridor fenceline. Bottom left: Tree seedlings unloaded from a stuck land cruiser. Bottom right: Our CHSP team wait for over five hours when the road is washed away.

IN-KIND DONATIONS are one of a great way to help the Trust! We are so grateful for our huge network of individuals and companies who we can call upon if we even need help or skills from financial, practical and time!

Bunson Travel donated a whole truck load of office equipment to schools around the mountain. In addition, they provided three charcoal kilns to Community Based Organisations to turn the invasive Lantana into useful charcoal to use or sell.

Get in touch if there is anyway you could help! info

Above Unloading the desks and learning to use the charcoal kiln.
LIGHTS FOR LEARNING
‘Before I was using a paraffin lantern and my eyes would be red in the morning.’

Solar lights were distributed by ‘Lights for Learning’ earlier this year to children in schools to help them read later at night. Here are a few comments:

How often do you use the lights?
Three times a week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (Titus MwiriAge 9). Every day approximately from 8-10PM. (Raphael Mwiti Age 12).
What do you use it for?
Reading, cooking, washing dishes, harvesting maize at night, kitchen work, feeding cows.

How has it helped your studies?
Improvements in the average score are as follows Titus Mwiri – from 249 marks to 303 marks. Agnes Kanera – 250 marks to 300 marks, Nelly Gaichohi (Age 12) – 210 marks to 230 marks.

What do you like most about it?
It’s brightness.

RUNNING WILD FOR THE WILD

The Mount Kenya Trust Team at dawn on June 30th ready to run a half marathon for conservation. Thank you to everyone that supported them!

As part of our mission, this year we supported our partners Tusk Trust at their annual Safaricom marathon.

The marathon has raised over $USD6.5 million since inception and Tusk Trust does a fantastic job raising money for projects (including our Joint Wildlife Protection Team) and investing in the future of Africa. We are proud to be amongst their recipients.

We are pleased to welcome two new board members to the Directors of the Bill Woodley Mount Kenya Company which operates as the Mount Kenya Trust. We are delighted that Sophie Kinuya and Robert Kariuki have joined the fold as we say a fond farewell to Martin Forster and Levi Wendo who have both resigned from the Board after 18 years of service. We are most grateful to them for the support.
Thank you for your support!

Batian Level Donors ($50,000+)
International Tree Foundation, The US Fish and Wildlife Service, Friends of the Nairobi Sailing and Sub Aqua Club, Friends Of Environment Conservation Trust, African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, CHASE Africa, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Eden Wildlife Trust.

Nelion Level Donors ($25,000+)
Timaflor, Tropic Air, Tusk Trust via the Safaricom Marathon, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Hugh Sloane, Zurich Zoo, Disney: Reverse the Decline, World Conservation Society, Tropic Air.

Lenana Level ($10,000+)
European Outdoor Conservation Association, Thin Green Line Foundation, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Elephant Cooperation, BATUK, International Elephant Foundation, The Featherbys, Anonymous, Safarilink.

Coryndon Level (<$10,000 & in kind)
The Rufford Foundation, Bunson Travel, Cookswell Jikos, Mountain Club of Kenya, Kisima Farm,
Marania Farm, Ol Donyo Farm, Annick Mitchell, Steve Strong, Emily Marston

Event Sponsors
Tropic Air, Safarilink,
Bayer, Dormans, KFC, CBA, Rift Valley Adventures, Ol Donyo,Agventure, Gundua, Sirai, Ol Pejeta, The Dip Station, Delia’s Ice Cream, Tambuzi, Raka Cheese, Hampton School, Highlands, Shimano, Borana, BAOA, BATU, BornFree, Ngare Ndare Fores Trust, Pelican Signs, Express Auto.
Thank you to everyone for visiting our tree nursery at Turaco Farm.

Our partners: We wouldn’t be able to keep up the good work without our most important supporting & operational partners. These include The Kenya Wildlife Service, The Kenya Forest Service, Rhino Ark, Kisima Farm, Marania Farm, Tropic Air, The Woodcock Family, Greystones Development Company, Borana Conservancy, African Ascents, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Tambuzi Farm and One Stop.

Thank you to Morten Jensen, Imo & Flick and Hilde VanLeeuwe for your generous voluntary time and assistance.

Thank you to everyone for visiting our tree nursery at Turaco Farm.

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