17 May 2012
Born Free has recently begun supporting an important Lion Conservation initiative in Samburu, Northern Kenya. Please see below for a report we have just received from the project.
"Samburu morans, the warrior age-class, make up one of the most neglected groups of people in conservation management in Samburu, northern Kenya. These young men spend more time in wildlife areas than anyone else in the community, yet are rarely involved in decision-making with respect to wildlife conservation. To address this gap, Ewaso Lions founded the Warrior Watch programme in early 2010. Warrior Watch is the first programme in northern Kenya to actively involve warriors in wildlife conservation.
Ewaso Lions strongly believes that capacity building at the local level is an essential component of conservation, and that success in wildlife conservation relies on the involvement of local people. Engaging Warriors instills positive attitudes towards wildlife, with an emphasis on the importance of lions and predators. In turn, these warriors spread the conservation message to other morans in their communities.
Traditional Samburu morans do not attend school, and spend the majority of their time outside the village, thus serving as the “eyes and ears” in the bush. Through Warrior Watch, Ewaso Lions effectively taps into this resource to expand the scope of our research, and gives these young men an opportunity to obtain some essential education. With the help of the Warriors, we have a better idea of wildlife numbers and distribution over a wider area and on a much larger scale than we could before.
The overall goal of Warrior Watch is to promote human-predator coexistence, reduce human-wildlife conflict, build capacity, and increase awareness of the importance of wildlife to the local area by engaging the moran (warrior) demographic.
Ewaso Lions provides basic education to the morans who might not otherwise have the opportunity to receive education. We meet them every Sunday and teach them how to read and write. We also use “Wildlife for Warriors” cards to assist with their learning of the animals in the region.
Ewaso Lions currently has 15 warriors engaged in conservation through the Warrior Watch programme. We are very grateful for support from the Born Free Foundation for this important programme."
You can make a donation towards Born Free's work in Kenya here