Mount Kenya Trust News Updates

MOUNTAIN DISPATCHES

We wish all of our friends and partners safety at this time and hope you are all keeping well. The world is united in its fight and protecting all of those most vulnerable is critical at this time.

What a stark difference to last year when we were fighting large fires on Mt Kenya. The short video of the fires below and the training we completed late last year will make sure we are prepared for next time.

In the meantime, with guidelines in place from both Government directives and our own protocols, we are keeping everybody safe and as many projects moving as possible.

We look forward to the time we can all be together again.

Stay Safe. Keep strong.

Beautiful Mount Kenya!
Mountain Elephant Survey 2020 Edition

In January, 12 MKT staff joined the KFS, KWS and Rhino Ark took part in a research to count Mount Kenya’s elephant population. The last major survey took place in 2016 and estimated a population size of 2,579 (+/-453) elephants.

The results of the survey will provide an important measure of Mount Kenya’s elephant numbers and information on whether the population is stable. It will also present an opportunity to further develop the dung-count methods used to streamline them and improve their efficiency, which has wider benefit implications to the KWS’s plans to resurvey other large forest populations of elephants elsewhere in Kenya.

Similar studies with our teams have been carried our in the Aberdares and three finer-scale surveys in the Imenti and Lower Imenti sub-region of Mount Kenya.

The teams run 397 transects measuring two key components – elephant dung density and estimating dung decay rate. The survey is no easy task for the teams, they follow transects for days on end, camp in very cold conditions on the mountain and continued to survey during heavy rain during the day.

The survey is managed & conducted by Hilde Vanleeuwe and Wildlife Conservation Society.

LEAD Ranger Life Saver Course

Thanks to the LEAD Ranger Programme, four MKT Community Rangers were able to attend the Ranger Life Saver Instructor Course which was held at the Wildlife Works Tsavo Education Center in March. Two of our Rangers reached Level 2 of the programme, while the other two graduated to Instructor level! Congratulations to those who took part.

Huge thanks to LEAD Ranger and their partners for this opportunity for learning and development!

Our most liked posts last year from Instagram.
Adventure First Aid Train 20 MKT Staff members

A two-day training course was provided to our staff by Adventure First Aid who specialise in Training people from Conservation organisations and remote areas. The training was fantastic!

Our FABULOUS TOP 10to4 Fundraisers and partners

This year we were BLOWN AWAY by the amount of support we received for Mount Kenya Trust at the 10to4 Mountain Bike Challenge. This is our premier fundraising event that raises money for all of the gaps in our work. Look how many partners we had below! And a quick note on our top two fundraisers below.

The JASPER HORWOOD MEMORIAL PRIZE – Top Child Fundraiser

Aurora Benham (Age 6) rode in the Mini 10to4 and raised nearly USD $2,000
When asked about how she raised the money, Aurora said

“I raised money by making a video and riding my bike. I also made cupcakes and sold them to neighbours, and I even put them in the oven and did all the washing up myself”.

The PAUL SHERWEN MEMORIAL PRIZE – Top Adult Fundraiser(s)

Hitesh Shah and Amardeep Jandu (Age – undisclosed!) Every season the pair are on the mountain with their family and friends planting at Marania Forest. The Sukuma Twende Trust (Hitesh and Amardeep’s charity) have raised over USD $8,000 and they aim to plant 50,000 trees in the April rainy season, and are hoping to raise funds for another 50,000 trees for the next planting in October. What a dynamic team!

Some of our favourite images below that really captures the spirit of the event – including our youngest competitor! It was so nice to be together in the rain and the mud.
See the rest of the photos here! Disclaimer: lots of mud!
This time last year our Mount Kenya was burning. Our vitally important water tower, providing ecosystem services to millions of people and businesses in Kenya was being destroyed by fire.

Since the 2019 fires, we have invested in training and resources to make sure the scale of this never happens again on Mt Kenya or the Aberdares. We can’t promise this won’t happen again but we are now prepared and our teams trained in fire management and along with other partners we will be ready for the next one.

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