|Message from the Executive Director:
In the course of a normal year we would have produced an ‘information update’ for April 2020 describing our activities and progress made. And progress has indeed been made over many years – not least in protecting 80,000 Kenyan households from the dangers of human-wildlife conflict. You, our friends, sponsors and Rhino Chargers have made, and continue to make, an immense contribution to this extraordinary conservation programme.
But this is not a normal year. The COVID-19 pandemic has made its malevolent presence felt – and our Government has had to take positive steps to restrict its advance across our country. In consequence we, too, have had to take measures, not least for the safety of our staff and the communities we serve. As you know, we have had to postpone the 2020 Rhino Charge from 31 May to 19 October – with the situation kept under review until 1 August. Funding from the Rhino Charge is critical for the maintenance of our forest conservation and community-based livelihood programmes. The impact of COVID-19 has forced us to put some of these programmes on hold.
This has also meant that we have had to concentrate our resources on safeguarding our core mission – the protection of the great water towers, the lifeblood of our country. The maintenance of our fence projects in the Aberdares and Mau Eburu are a daily necessity. Our ambition to complete the Mount Kenya fence and construct a fence around the Kakamega Forest are key targets for us. All these projects are vital for Kenya’s economic development and well-being.
Rhino Ark’s conservation activities require a continuous flow of funds. Although cut-backs in operational expenses have been made, our obligations continue at a time when we would normally be receiving inflows of critically needed funds pledged for the 2020 Rhino Charge. If you are in a position to support us, please help us. If you are participating in the postponed Charge, please make your contribution ahead of the event. Every shilling will assist us in keeping fence maintenance work ongoing – work that is increasingly urgent now due to the widespread damage caused by the unusually heavy rains. We cannot let this work slip.
This Special Information Update presents the comprehensive conservation programmes that engaged us until the crisis struck. Part of that work is on hold – temporarily. But our core work must continue. We must protect the investment of the last 31 years. Your support is needed now more than ever!!