EDUCATION THROUGH CONSERVATION
The Marsabit Project was established in 2016 under the guidance of Ian Craig. The aim of the project is to help bring about conservation through education in a unique part of northern Kenya.
It is proudly supported through individual donations, Tusk and is one of the 33 constituencies of the Northern Rangelands Trust.
ABOUT THE PROJECT. The cradle of mankind
Marsabit is a county of approximately 70,691 km2 in the far north of Kenya, bordering Ethiopia. It has a unique landscape mixing arid desert and beautiful forest clustering extinct volcanic craters. As such, it is home to a wide diversity of wildlife and was previously known for its particularly large elephants – big tuskers.
The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) is an umbrella organisation established in 2004 whose mission is to establish resilient community conservancies that transform lives, secure peace and conserve natural resources in northern Kenya. The NRT currently supports 33 community conservancies in 9 counties, home to 300,000 people of 16 different ethnic groups.
In 2013 the NRT pioneered the establishment of 3 conservancies in Marsabit – Shurr, Songa and Jaldesa. The aim of these conservancies was to build peace and sustainable enterprise, implement natural resource management plans and carry out a wide range of conservation activities.
Ethnic groups in these conservancies include Rendille, Borana and Gabbra. Together, the three conservancies cover 5.810km2 and are home to approximately 25,000 people. Around 80% of the population are nomadic pastoralists – moving their villages to find new pasture for their livestock.
92% of the population live below the poverty line. Communities here have not traditionally placed value on formal education. The county has the lowest literacy rates in Kenya with only 22% and 27% of the population that can read and write respectively.
This problem of illteracy is mostly due to cultural practices and extreme poverty. It is exacerbated by a lack of proper infrastructure in schools in terms of classrooms, toilets and perimeter fencing. The majority of the schools are more than 5km from the community, making access for students and teachers challenging. This has resulted in understaffing, high student teacher ratios and poor quality teaching.
WHAT WE AIM TO DO. Education bringing about conservation
The Marsabit Project aims to support conservation and education initiatives for communities residing around Mount Marsabit Forest. We believe that the communities should derive sustainable socioeconomic benefits from wildlife and rangeland conservation. The project presents an opportunity to leverage improvements in education, in order to increase community support for conservation and sustainable natural resource management.
Locally recruited conservancy rangers have begun to work more closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service and NRT’s mobile anti-poaching units to carry out security and wildlife monitoring patrols. Close coordination and information sharing between the three teams will ensure the most effective protection for elephants moving in and out of Marsabit.
It is hoped that this will dramatically reduce the illegal killing of elephants in the area, and offer the community better support in cases of human / wildlife conflict.
Tusk is a dynamic and pioneering organisation with over 25 years of experience initiating and funding conservation, community development and environmental education programmes across Africa. Tusk has, with its partners, been at the forefront of promoting and funding community driven conservaton programmes.
Its holistic approach recognises that the long-term future for wildlife is dependent on education and sustainable development. The Marsabit Project falls into the welcoming arms of Tusk.
HOW YOUR DONATION CAN HELP
£20 could pay for new school uniform for one child in a school in Marsabit, improving a child’s self-esteem and sense of belonging.
£250 could pay for a school food programme for a month for 70 children, ensuring children are well nourished and leading to improved academic achievement and retention rates.
£1,117 – a ranger’s salary for 12 months, enabling vital monitoring and protection of elephants and other wildlife.
£3,500 could cover the cost of school uniform for an entire school.
£4,875 could build toilets for children and teachers at a school, essential for improving the sanitary conditions and to reduce the risk of water-borne diseases.
£16,782 could cover the cost of vehicle running costs for a year– essential for rangers’ monitoring operations to help reduce the number of elephants and other animals being poached.
Help us make a difference to conservation through education in Marsabit
We know that not everyone can afford to donate to charity. However, if you have a skill, particular business, or just want to volunteer some time that you think would benefit the people and wildlife of Marsabit, please let us know. We are always after new fundraising ideas, and are very grateful for any input.