Mount Kenya Trust Annual Round Up for 2019

MOUNTAIN DISPATCHES

September to December 2019

The last quarter has been a whirlwind of activity: travel, training, tree planting and stormy weather.

We’ve planted over 234,000 trees this year and trained 60 Firefighters, made up of people from Mount Kenya Trust, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Rhino Ark, Kisima Farm and the local community. We could do this because of the generosity of people from here and abroad during the fires earlier in the year and a donation from former Nairobi Sailing and Sub Aqua Club. In addition, 10 of the trainees costs has been met by Rhino Ark.

We’ve been to the UK, South Africa, Nepal and our beautiful Kenyan coast to learn, share and fundraise.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us this year – we could not do our work without the continuous support from our donors, partners and friends.

Here’s to 2020!

The Mount Kenya Trust Team

Plentiful rains mean we rounded up this year’s planting season with over 170,000 seedlings transported and planted on the mountain. We had lots of help from community, friends and partners below!

It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.- Wangari Maathai

Elite Fire Fighting Teams Trained!

Training by an organisation known as ‘Working on Fire’ has been underway in December. Working on Fire provides management and firefighting training courses that enable governments, forestry operators and commercial landowners to protect, prevent and manage wild land and structural fires. Courses focus on instilling operational principles through theoretical and practical integration during the training.

The Elite Fire fighting teams (6 teams of 10 pax.) have been trained to cover both Mt Kenya and the Aberdares and are comprised of MKT, KWS, KFS, Rhino Ark and community members and employees of Kisima Farm who have helped a great deal in the past.

We have learned a great deal about how to improve our techniques and fire management and will continue to see expert advice and keep the fire teams motivated. Well done to the men and women who took part.

We are grateful to Ontulili Boys school for their facilities during the training in return for a donation and to Greystones Development Company for donating a sheep for the teams for the lunch provided after training.

WHY OUR ELEPHANT WORK IS SO IMPORTANT

In 2016 the elephant population in the Mountain Conservation Area was estimated at ~ 13,000 elephants of Kenya’s total population of around 30,000 elephants (Thouless et al., 2016).

The Aberdares and Mt Kenya host Kenya’s highest elephant population densities and flank Kenya’s most densely populated rural areas, with mostly small-scale farmers and some large scale horticulture and vegetable farms. The area in Kenya’s National Elephant Action Plan englobes the second largest elephant range, only slightly smaller than Kenya’s largest elephant range in the Tsavo CA.

SUN, SEA, SAND AND SNAKES!

After 2 years of saving, the MKT staff had just over half the cost of a learning and team-building trip to the coast. The Trust subsidised the additional costs, and in early December we all headed for Watamu! The logistics were crazy but we managed to book 50 pax onto the SGR, coach to Watamu and then a home away from home stay in the Arabuku Sokoke Forest.

Such a fun-filled and conservation packed few days with a visit to the Local Ocean Conservation, Bio-Ken Snake Farm, Arabuko Sokoke Forest and many trips to the beach! We planted mangroves, held a 7-foot python, walked with coast rangers and swam in the sea.

It was a fantastic trip! Thank you so much to our friends at the coast for such a welcome.

CONNECTING RANGERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

With support from WWF and The International Ranger Foundation, Edwin Kinyanjui (Head Ranger), Enock Ochieng (Programmes Officer) and Humphrey Munene (Field Coordinator) attended the 9th World Ranger Conference held in Nepal!

The Tusk Conservation Symposium 2019 saw representatives from 45 Tusk-supported projects across 16 African countries assemble at the Mt Kenya Safari Club in Kenya from 7th-10th October. Represented by Charlene Wandera (Tree Planting and Education Officer) and Delphin Mukira (Community Health Officer).
16TH INTERNATIONAL ELEPHANT CONSERVATION AND RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM
October 2019

Enock Ochieng presents the elephant corridor along with other work on habitat protection and human-elephant conflict to an audience of fellow elephant conservationists in South Africa.

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