We’ve had quite a busy time in here these last two months!
In early July we had a group of people associated with the George Mason Uni (GMU) in America come out to see Suganoi House, the site of the Conservancy’s CREATE (Centre for Research, Environment and Arts Teaching on Elmenteita). We had a great time and the outcomes from the two weeks work were really positive. The research centre once up and running will have a laboratory, art centre museum and library, dorm rooms and tented camping, communal dining room, bar and out door recreation area. All this will be available to groups of researchers, artists, volunteers and anyone else wanting to spend time at the conservancy for work or research! A lot of work to be done and funds to be raised but it can all be done! The GMU folk also kindly donated exercise books, mathematic sets, and soccer balls to both the primary schools on the conservancy, Mbogo and Kiboko Primary- all of which were received very well! Mbogo Primary also had a volunteer, Holly Fagan from England, help with teaching some of the older classes as well as games with the nursery school. Holly had conducted several fundraisers at her school in the UK and was able to raise enough money to support the Mbogo Primary porridge program for the remainder of the year. Well done Holly!
In late July we had Gene Rurka, Chairman for Humanitarian Services of Safari Care International (SCI), spend two weeks out here working with the local communities and Soysambu Conservancy on several projects. SCI donated 50 desks and 5 microscopes to local schools, 100 portable stoves to local families. On top of this the big project was installing a 4600L tank water piping to bring water from a bore-hole on the west of the property to the medical clinic at in Elmenteita village. Soysambu Conservancy, SCI and the people of Elmenteita worked hard for the two weeks, digging and burying 5km of piping, installing fittings and erecting the tank and tank stand. It all paid off in the end, seeing the looks of happiness on the locals faces as the fresh drinking water flowed into the village for the first time!
That brings us to August. This month we have 3 volunteers, Kendall Smith has been helping the nurse in the Soysambu Conservancy clinic just near the head office. Shalyn Pack and Allan Turner have been continuing the studies on the Rothschild’s giraffe population. This is helping us to further our understanding of the population dynamics and total number of giraffe we have here – they have confirmed sightings of 42, including one brand new baby! They are also studying the impact the giraffe are having on the acacia trees around the western side of the lake shore- they are stripping bark from the trees which in many cases is ring barking the tree leading to its death. We want to know why this stripping is happening and whether or not it is sustainable to the future of the trees in that area. Alan is also starting to do some monitoring of the lake levels, to get an idea of how fast the water is receding.
This month the CEO Kat Combes house became an animal shelter when we had an injured flamingo named Nekundu (swahili for pink) living with us for a short while. Nekundu had flown into a power line and damaged the nerve in her right leg, so she was unable to stand. She had also had some damage to her left wing. The vet and flamingo expert weighed in with their knowledge, and we fixed Nekundu a delicious mix of bread, spinach and lake algae. Sadly despite all our TLC Nekundu died after five days.
So for now we are all keeping busy catching up on office work. We have been getting a little bit of rain each day the last week or so. Hopefully it will keep up as the lake is drying up at a rather alarming rate. All the pelican chicks that have just hatched need the water as a barrier from predators.