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Northern Kenya boasts vast plains of wilderness
Imagine living on the open rangelands of Africa amongst free-living African wildlife. Here you may see herds of zebra and giraffe passing through your backyard, along with the occasional lion or pack of wild dogs.
For many of us this sounds like an exotic dream, but for the residents of Sera conservancy in Northern Kenya this is their daily life. This life brings with it both benefits and challenges and Zoos SA has partnered with Sera to help address some of the challenges being faced.
Sera is a 330 000 ha conservancy, which is part of a network of 17 conservancies in Northern Kenya working together as part of the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT). The NRT was established in 2004 to facilitate community led conservation initiatives in Northern Kenya and now covers over 3 million acres.
The Sera conservancy is home to many threatened species including the Grevy’s zebra, Cheetah, Elephant, Beisa oryx and African wild dog. In 2008 reticulated giraffe were successfully re-established in the Sera conservancy and there are plans to re-introduce the critically-endangered black rhino in the near future.
Sera residents rely heavily upon livestock
The Samburu, Rendile and Borana people living within the Sera conservancy area are traditionally nomadic pastoralists relying on livestock as their sole source of livelihood. However as human populations increase, coupled with the pressure of severe drought, competition between livestock and wildlife for grazing land and accessible water results in dwindling numbers of some of Africa’s most endangered species.
How are we helping?
ZoosSA is providing funding to the Sera Conservancy Trust, to enable people and wildlife to live together in harmony, through:
Women come to community groups to make the beadwork
The colourful beadwork is sold at our zoo shops
Beads for Wildlife
Community women’s groups make beadwork which is then sold through our zoo shops and local schools (part of our MAD-making a difference programs). Our support aids a micro-loan system which enables the women to start their own small businesses. Income that the women get through the sale of the beadwork has multiple benefits for:
- Individuals: the elevated position of women improves harmony in the home
- Their families: the women use the money to improve the health, education and nutrition of their children
- The community: their beadwork provides a framework for the women to come together socially
- The wildlife living around them: by providing an alternative income and developing tourism it reduces their reliance on livestock, leaving more resources for wildlife
Scouts are employed from the local community
Employing community scouts
Local community members are employed as Scouts to patrol the Sera conservation area, preventing poaching and increasing the security for pastoralists by policing livestock theft. Elephant poaching has been a serious issue in the Sera conservancy- in 2011 alone, 14 cases of poaching occurred due to the increase in the black-market price of ivory. The job of a Scout is a dangerous one- coming into contact with poachers or highway bandits. ZoosSA supports the Sera Scout's membership to the Game Rangers Association of Africa which, through the Thin Green Line Foundation, provides the Scouts with life insurance so that their families are supported should the Scout be injured in killed in the line of duty.
How can you help?
You can purchase any of the colourful Beads for Wildlife products through our zoo shops at Monarto or Adelaide, or online here.
Experience some of the species found at Sera up-close at our ‘Australian Africa’- Monarto Zoo. There’s a big range of behind-the-scenes tours to choose from, with 10% of the ticket price from all tours going directly to conservation programs.
Any donation greater than $2 is tax deductable. Thank you for your support!