The Great Wall of Soysambu

The construction of a boundary dry stone wall as begun on the eastern boundary of Soysambu Conservancy. The initial section of the fence will stretch from the base of ‘The Nose’ on the Sleeping Warrior crater and extend down to Lake Elmenteita. This area of the Conservancy constantly being entered and illegally grazed by herdsmen and their stock, often herds of over 1,000 cattle.

Initial stages of construction

The dry stone wall is being made using the volcanic rocks that cover the property, particularly southern area of the lake. Six-foot wooden posts are being built into the stone wall and will carry solar powered electrified wires to deter trespassers from simply climbing over the wall. The estimated cost of building the fence is 300,000ksh (~US$4,000) per 5km.

Initial stages of construction 2

This method of fencing, although labour intensive has had proven success on other properties in keeping unwanted trespassers out as well as keeping wildlife in, and is much more durable than a standard electric fence, and a lot cheaper too.

If you would like to make a donation towards the construction of the wall please follow the links on our home page- your contribution will be greatly received.

Why we established the Conservancy

Thank you for visiting this site. This is my first blog (ever) after setting this up with the help of my friend, Emma. Soysambu is the only area of open land left in this part of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley where the wildlife have come to take refuge from expanding human development. The soil is fragile and can only sustain grasses which provide food for the wild animals and cattle. Once an area successfully utilized only for livestock and hay cultivation it now has around 12,000 wildlife competing for the same resources. Lake Elmenteita which Soysambu borders on 3 sides was named a Wetland of International importance by the Ramsar Convention in 2005. This lake now hosts the only breeding colony of Great White Pelican in East Africa. Many populations of lesser and greater flamingo also occupy the lake. It is a birders paradise.  You can’t imagine how important this is to the whole string of Rift Valley Lakes!  Semi endangered Rothschild giraffe are happily reproducing here along with the Colobus monkeys, cape buffalo, eland, gazelles, impala and just about everything else. The Acacia woodlands, the Euporbia groves, the leleshwa bush all add up to areas in need of forestry preservation when everything around us is getting flattened. I could go on forever… How can we preserve this amazing array of flora and fauna and operate in a sustainable way utilizing all the resources available and to help the surrounding communities benefit from their wildlife heritage by developing programmes for poverty reduction and education? These were the questions facing us then and now as we are building the Conservancy. I am not an expert on these things, but learning fast, and looking for every way possible to protect the land, the wildlife and the culture. Any suggestions and comments are greatly welcomed and appreciated. Many thanks, Kat

pelicans are breeding on Lake Elmenteita

pelicans are breeding on Lake Elmenteita