Safaricom Marathon Beneficiary

The Lewa Education Programme’s main aim is to provide the children on the boundaries of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy with access to the best possible education opportunities and effectively create awareness on the importance of wildlife conservation. Support is given through the development and improvement of infrastructure, the provision and training of teachers, and the facilitation of feeding programmes. The programme also provides bursaries and scholarships for young, high-performing students in secondary and tertiary levels of education.

The Lewa Education Programme (LEP) partners with 23 public schools that span Laikipia, Meru and Isiolo counties. Through continued marathon funding, LEP has been able to facilitate development in these schools and provide some of the resources needed for a quality education. The schools include: Akadeli, Elsa Primary, Elsa Secondary, Enaikishomi Primary, JPP, Kanyunga Primary, Subuiga Primary, JPP Primary, Kanyunga, Karimba, Kilimani, Leparua Primary, Lewa Downs Primary, Lokusero Primary, Lokusero Secondary, Munanda Primary, Mutunyi Primary, Ngare Ndare Secondary, Ntalabany Primary, Ntugi Primary, Ntugi Secondary, Ntumburi Primary, Rugusu Primary, Sang’a Primary, Shambani,  Subuiga.

The Safaricom Marathon has contributed hugely to the healthcare providers in northern Kenya. District hospitals acquired medical equipment, which in turn has enabled them to provide medical services to many of Lewa’s neighbouring communities. The Lewa Healthcare Programme comprises of four clinics that collectively serve a population of around 50,000 people. These are Lewa Clinic, Leparua Clinic, Ngare Ndare and Ntirimiti Clinics. The programme provides access to healthcare to the communities effectively improving their quality of life and winning their support for conservation of wildlife.

A share of the marathon funding also goes toward supporting neighbouring hospitals including Isiolo General Hospital, Meru General Hospital, Timau Sub-District Hospital and St. Theresa Kiirua Hospital. In addition, the Nanyuki Cottage Hospital has received a portion of the funding for treatment of victims of human-wildlife conflict in the region.

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy aims to work as a catalyst for the conservation of wildlife and its habitat through the protection and management of species, the initiation and support of community conservation and development programmes, and the education of neighbouring communities in the value of wildlife. Spanning 61,000 acres, Lewa is home to over 10% of Kenya’s black rhino population, 14% of Kenya’s white rhino population and the world’s largest single population of Grevy’s zebra.

Lewa is actively involved in promoting conservation both within its boundaries and in the ecologically important community-owned areas to its north. With a proven track record, Lewa’s model of community-based conservation development is being spearheaded across northern Kenya and emulated by other East African conservation organizations. Lewa has been instrumental in the creation of community conservation areas and is creating a sustainable ecosystem approach to conservation through the protection of large areas of land, allowing for the continued migration of wildlife throughout their natural range.

As the ever expanding human population comes into conflict with wildlife, Lewa has been at the forefront of helping communities in northern Kenya to initiate and promote community driven conservation programmes, which allow the people to view wildlife as an asset and not a liability. By directing the benefits of our success to helping our neighbours, Lewa has helped alleviate poverty and created enthusiasm among communities for wildlife conservation.

This is accomplished through addressing the socio-economic and development needs of the many communities, which includes community water management, agricultural development programmes, road and infrastructure improvement, women’s micro-credit schemes and forestry projects.

The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) supports 32 community conservancies across 10 counties in Kenya; Laikipia, Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu, Baringo, Tana River, Lamu, Garissa, Meru and West Pokot. Through the Conservancy Operation Fund (COF), NRT supports basic operations in security, staff remuneration and other conservancy running costs.

Some of the milestones that NRT community conservancies have managed to achieve over the years include:

  • A reduction in PIKE (Proportion of Illegally Killed Elephants) from 77% in 2012 to 36% in 2017
  • Improved security across 32 conservancies in 10 counties – from 108 elephants poached in 2012 to only 8 in 2017
  • 748 rangers employed by community conservancies who play a vital role in monitoring endangered wildlife species, raising conservation awareness in their local communities and acting as community wildlife ambassadors. As a result, most key species are stable or increasing in over 50% of the conservancies, with the notable exception of the endangered Grevy’s zebra
  • Improved governance across conservancies through more board meetings, community awareness & improved service delivery to conservancy members

Straddling the equator and rising to 5,199m Mount Kenya is the 2nd highest mountain in Africa. Mount Kenya was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1997. The World Heritage Site Commission recognises it as “one of the most impressive landscapes of Eastern Africa, with its rugged glacier clad summits, Afro-Alpine Moorlands and diverse forests, which illustrate outstanding ecological processes”. As gazetted National Park and National Reserve the protected area makes up 2,100 km2. To the people of Mount Kenya it holds immense cultural value.

Mt. Kenya Trust works in close partnership with key government agencies charged with the management of Mount Kenya. The organization employs a holistic approach to protecting the integrity of Mount Kenya’s resources involving the local community and building the partnership that at the heart of all projects. They bring together a range of themes including education and awareness, reforestation, anti-poaching and illegal activity monitoring, human – wildlife conflict mitigation measures and habitat connectivity.

The Ngare Ndare Forest Trust (NNFT) is a community organisation that was founded in 2004. NNFT encompasses six community-based programmes around the forest as well as large-scale farms that border the forest. The forest is situated on the northern foothills of Mt. Kenya in Meru county with a smaller portion in Laikipia. Ngare Ndare is an extension of Mt. Kenya forest and is connected through the elephant corridor that allows seasonal migration between the two forests and northern Kenya.

Every year, a percentage of the funds raised through the Safaricom Marathon are distributed via Tusk, the organiser of the event, to wildlife conservation, community development and environmental education projects throughout Kenya. These include;

  1. Tsavo Trust
  2. Bongo Surveillance Project
  3. Local Ocean Trust
  4. Ewaso Lions
  5. Big Life Foundation
  6. Lamu Marine Conservation Trust
  7. Lion Landscapes
  8. Borana Conservancy
“We must continue to promote human-wildlife coexistence, to protect our country’s rich natural heritage. All these conservation efforts and partnerships contribute towards greater socio and human development investment.”

– H.E. Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of The Republic of Kenya