Kenya

Ewaso Lions: Saving Lions In Northern Kenya

Photo courtesty of Ewaso Lions

Photo courtesty of Ewaso Lions

The African lion population has declined by 43% in the last 20 years and lions now occupy only 8% of their historical range in Africa. The estimated number of lions across Africa is as few as 20,000, with numbers now less than 2000 in Kenya. Please join us in supporting Ewaso Lions , an important organization working with communities to save lions in Kenya. We are excited to announce that an amazing donor has generously pledged a matching challenge grant of $4500, please donate today to help us reach this goal and give Ewaso Lions the support they desperately need to save these special and endangered animals.

This Challenge Grant will fund Ewaso Lions including:

$80 a month for one teacher’s salary

$150 a month for the Mama Simba Coordinators

$150 a month for the Warriors salaries

$405 a month for an Ewaso Lions vehicle

$3000 for Lion’s Kid Camp for 25 kids for 5 days

At current rates of decline, the species could become extinct here within the next two decades. This reduction in lion numbers is primarily due to habitat loss and conflict with humans, typically when lions kill people’s livestock. Lions and other large carnivores are wide-ranging species and designated protected areas are often not large enough to ensure their long-term survival. Therefore, it is crucial that conservation of these species, as well as their prey, is addressed throughout the landscape, which not only incorporates protected areas but also the surrounding areas where local people live

Ewaso Lions is dedicated to conserving lions and other large carnivores by promoting co-existence between people and wildlife. We work hand-in-hand with local communities to provide education, training and improved conservation practices that help people and wildlife. We use sound science to help guide the long-term conservation of lions across community conservancies and protected areas in northern Kenya.
— Ewaso Lions
Herding children playing the conservation game, crawling blindfolded and masked through the burning bush © Danni Parks / Ewaso Lions

Herding children playing the conservation game, crawling blindfolded and masked through the burning bush © Danni Parks / Ewaso Lions

Ewaso Lions promotes the co-existence of people and wildlife by working directly with local communities to provide education and conservation. Their programs include the Lion Kids Camp, Warrior Watch, and Mama Simba. This past year they expanded to three new conservancies, and 10 lion cubs were born within the Ewaso Lion Conservation Landscape (map below).

The Lion Kids Camp was created to inspire a whole new generation of wildlife conservationists. Since 2015, 10 camps have run with the next generation featuring a combination of wildlife education, safaris and conservation-themed games and activities.

The Warrior Watch plays a vital role in monitoring wildlife and stopping conflict between humans and lions. In 2018 there were 699 patrols, 4,684 km of foot patrols covered, 1472 direct sightings of wildlife, 32 times lions were saved from the imminent threat of death, 64 times warriors responded to human-lion conflict. Jeneria and the other warriors were featured on a recent episode of Wildlife Warriors, which can be watched in it’s entirety here.

The Mama Simba is comprised of a group of 19 women, led by the Mama Simba Coordinators Munteli & Mparasaroi. Together with other women in their communities these women are true powerhouses and they spread the conservation message, report on lion sightings and conflict incidents. This past year, the Mama Simba visited the Maasai Mara to learn new ideas for conservation in the Samburu.

Key to our empowerment strategy is giving women exposure to new places and experiences, so they can infuse fresh ideas into the way they want to do conservation. The Mama Simba ladies’ visit to the Maasai Mara signals to us a sea-change in how they think about their landscape. While they gasped with wonder at topis, wildebeest and rhinos - animals they had never seen before - they lamented the extensive
fencing across the Mara and its implications for livestock and wildlife. Having seen their first pride of lions in the Mara - a whopping 22 strong pride - they returned more determined than ever to speak for the lions of Samburu. And speak they did. Even before they got home, the women who had long been voiceless, called conservancy managers to tell them what they had seen, and to set up meetings where they could talk about conservation. With their eyes wide open, and their voices louder than ever, the possibilities for the Mama Simba ladies are endless.
— Ewaso Lions
Mama Simba Kenya
Mama Simba Kenya
We saw more animals than we could count in the Mara. There is a lot of food for lions there, as opposed to Samburu where we have very little prey. But wildlife is facing major challenges in the future because of land sub-division and fencing. I would hate to see this happen to our land. Wildlife corridors will soon be lost and this will be very unfortunate.
— Munteli Lalparasaroi, Mama Simba
Map of Ewaso Lions conservation landscape, courtesy of Ewaso Lions

Map of Ewaso Lions conservation landscape, courtesy of Ewaso Lions

Community Based Conservation with Grevy's Zebra Trust

“Grevy's zebra foals and their protective mothers are inhabiting Naibelibeli plains in high numbers- over 20 very young foals were seen during a drive out to the plains yesterday morning. It is a testament to the good rains and plentiful pasture in Westgate Conservancy. The foals survival will be dependent on the onset of the rains in April, replenishing the diminishing pasture and water resources that are subject to increasing competition from livestock, wildlife and people as the dry season extends.” Image and caption courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust

“Grevy's zebra foals and their protective mothers are inhabiting Naibelibeli plains in high numbers- over 20 very young foals were seen during a drive out to the plains yesterday morning. It is a testament to the good rains and plentiful pasture in Westgate Conservancy. The foals survival will be dependent on the onset of the rains in April, replenishing the diminishing pasture and water resources that are subject to increasing competition from livestock, wildlife and people as the dry season extends.” Image and caption courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust

The Grevy's Zebra Trust conserves the endangered Grevy's zebra and its fragile habitat in partnership with communities. Grevy’s Zebra Scouts monitor them with GPS recordings. There are estimated to be just over 3000 Grevy’s zebras today. WorldWomenWork supports the 19 women scouts. These ladies are part of the WorldWomenWork Nkirreten Project which is equipping local women with the skills to produce their own reusable and biodegradable sanitary pads. This also ensures that girls are not missing out on school due to lack of sanitary pad supplies.

It’s been a while since we’ve shared an update about the important work that Grevy’s Zebra Trust is doing in Kenya and Ethiopia, but in the meantime they’ve been busy. Earlier this year Grevy’s Zebra Trust launched their strategic plan for 2019-2021 to conserve and grow the Grevy’s Zebra population in Northern Kenya.

The entire Grevy’s Zebra Trust Team - photo courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust

The entire Grevy’s Zebra Trust Team - photo courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust

The new GZT Strategic Plan has put our activities into laser-sharp focus for the next three years! Our Mission? To conserve and grow the Grevy’s zebra population in northern Kenya.
To achieve this, every single member of the GZT family needs to be aware of the new strategy and the objectives and goals that will help us achieve our mission.
With 96 GZT family members at camp last week, we internally launched the new strategic plan through an incredible and inspiring two days of team building, where the activities focused around the major components of the plan. This has given us the strongest base to achieve conservation success.
— Grevy's Zebra Trust
Photo courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust

Photo courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust


Besides our women-focused scout program, GZT has also encouraged the local Nkirreten women in the Wamba region to participate in safeguarding their endangered Grevy’s zebras while also economically empowering themselves through the production of reusable sanitary pads. The dignity of the communities’ women and school going girls is preserved while the unique black and white stripped pads help spread the mission of our conservation efforts.
— Grevy's Zebra Trust
“As part of GZT’s school outreach program, our Wamba Regional Coordinator, Andrew Letura was accompanied by Jamarose, one of the Grevy’s zebra scouts to Ngaremara Primary School where pupils had an interactive session on how they could contribute towards the conservation of the endangered zebras in their local communities.” Caption and image courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust.

“As part of GZT’s school outreach program, our Wamba Regional Coordinator, Andrew Letura was accompanied by Jamarose, one of the Grevy’s zebra scouts to Ngaremara Primary School where pupils had an interactive session on how they could contribute towards the conservation of the endangered zebras in their local communities.” Caption and image courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust.

“In Sukuroi zone, Westgate Conservancy, community members have been voluntarily clearing the invasive species, Acacia reficiens, from the rangelands. Nearly immediately, Grevy’s zebra moved into the cleared site, making the most of the open spaces to graze.” Caption and image courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust.

“In Sukuroi zone, Westgate Conservancy, community members have been voluntarily clearing the invasive species, Acacia reficiens, from the rangelands. Nearly immediately, Grevy’s zebra moved into the cleared site, making the most of the open spaces to graze.” Caption and image courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust.

“Being a great source of the extra minerals that they need, termite mounds are valued commodities for Grevy's zebras.” Photo courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust

“Being a great source of the extra minerals that they need, termite mounds are valued commodities for Grevy's zebras.” Photo courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust


“Our supplementary feeding program was a welcome relief for this herd of Grevy's zebras that was captured by one of GZT's camera traps feasting on the hay that was left for them at Tirgamo corridor in Laisamis.” Photo and caption courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust

“Our supplementary feeding program was a welcome relief for this herd of Grevy's zebras that was captured by one of GZT's camera traps feasting on the hay that was left for them at Tirgamo corridor in Laisamis.” Photo and caption courtesy of Grevy’s Zebra Trust

WorldWomenWork Adventures: Our trip to Morocco and Kenya

WorldWomenWork Adventure Trip to Morocco

In January, we went on an amazing educational trip to Morocco and Kenya. We met in Marrakesh and stayed there for four days. We had a wonderful guide called Mohammed. We spent a couple of days going with him to the most beautiful palaces and museums. We went the Casbah, and had a lovely time walking around and looking at everything, as well as buying some beautiful things to take home. It’s such a fascinating place. We went up to the Atlas mountains for a hike and a beautiful lunch. Every night we had dinner in superb restaurants. Some of us even took a Moroccan cooking class and learned how to make a chicken tagine

WorldWomenWork Adventures Our trip to Morocco and Kenya

 

Next, we flew to Nairobi and went to the Olerai House. The Olerai House is a farmhouse in a wildlife sanctuary on Lake Naivasha. It’s run by Iain and Oria Douglas-Hamilton of Save the Elephants. They’ve created an amazing nature preserve on their farm. We had lunch with zebras milling about. They also have giraffes, tommy gazelles, gazelles, hippos, buffalo, vervet monkeys, and more. While we were there, we visited and had lunch at Sirocco house, Oria’s parents house. It was a beautiful space, patterned after a west African king’s palace.

WorldWomenWork Adventures Our trip to Morocco and Kenya

 

From there we went to Elephant Watch, which was created by Oria. We visited the Save the Elephants Research Center and learned about all of their projects. (You can read more about them on our project page, and in our news.) Then we went out with Samburu guides. These guides knew so much. They have been studying about 600 elephants for the past 15 years. They knew each elephant and the different elephant families. So we had the most intimate experience possible.

WorldWomenWork Adventures Our trip to Morocco and Kenya
WorldWomenWork Adventures Our trip to Morocco and Kenya

Next we went to stay at Sarara Camp. We also visited the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, in the Mathews Mountain Range. The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary takes in orphaned and abandoned elephant calves. Many of these elephants are later released into the wild herds that roam near the sanctuary.

We also went to the Maasai Mara National Reserve and saw everything known to man. We saw cheetahs, lions and so much more. We stayed in a beautiful camp. It was such a magical trip!

WorldWomenWork Adventure Trips are organized every year, as an educational as well as fundraising initiative. A portion of the trip fees go directly to the projects that we support. Read more about these projects on in our News and Projects pages. If you would like to be the first to know about our next trips, sign up for our mailing list.

Save The Elephants and Mama Tembo in Samburu Kenya

photo by Jane Wynyard with Save the Elephants

photo by Jane Wynyard with Save the Elephants

Mapayon of the Mama Tembos Says: "We feel like we are educators and that we can tell people about elephants and wildlife. Before we were scared of elephants, but now we have learned so much about them and we are grateful."

The pride that these Mamas feel protecting elephants from human beings and gigantic infrastructure projects is inspirational. They are a group of 9 working with Save the Elephants helping to save the largest land mammal; the elephant!

They have had tough lives. Imagine raising 7 children after your partner has left you or been killed in a tribal conflict. They patrol walking 10km a day in the scorching African sun.

Mama Tembo Save the Elephants Kenya

Soutine is one of the Samburu orphans studied in the "Orphan Project" We came upon her last winter standing with her 3 week old baby to the side of her family, the Artists, not being completely accepted. This leads to the ability of some young orphan mother's being more able to raise their offspring than others. This river crossing happened after we left and shows Soutine's incredible tenacity in this scary situation.

Exciting Updates for 2018

  • New project: Mama Tembo

  • WWW shows in San Francisco, New York & Santa Fe

  • 2018 Trip: Morocco and Kenya Trip

Soutine age 14, with her trunk resting on the radio collar was one of the first orphans in the WorldWomenWork funded “Orphan Project” with Save the Elephants. Among other findings, Soutine shows the resiliency of young elephants who without their Matriarchs to teach them have to learn on their own. We observed lion marks on the baby, age 3 weeks, and subsequently the baby was caught in a raging current in the Ewaso River and Soutine by her side managed to guide her to shore… She is a good Mother.
What a success story!


Sarara Camp

Sarara Camp, Kenya

One of the highlights of the Morocco/Kenya trip was spending 2 nights at Sarara, a magnificent camp set in wild beautiful country at the foot of the Matthews Range.. We visited Reteti falling under the magic of the babies, adopting and giving the trip donation; $9,000, to this fabulous Sanctuary.

Grevy's Zebra Trust in Kenya and Ethiopia and the WorldWomenWork Scholarship Program

Today we need to connect to things that are real and uplift our spirts. The Grevy's Zebra Scout Ladies are just that. The Grevy's Zebra Trust conserves the endangered Grevy's zebra and its fragile habitat in partnership with communities. The scouts monitor them with GPS recordings of their findings. There are estimated to be just over 3000 today. WWW supports the 19 women scouts. These ladies are part of the WWW Nkirreten Project which is equipping local women with the skills to produce their own reusable sanitary pads. It also ensures that girls are not missing out on school due to lack of sanitary pad supplies.

Grevy's Zebra Scouts

Congratulations to Ngeeti Lempate known as 'Mama Grevy'. She won the 2017 Disney Conservation Hero Award in recognition of her incredible 15 year career as a Grevy's Zebra Scout

I am so happy and lucky to receive this Disney Award. It means a lot, and it has made me see the importance and contribution of my work to the world in conservation. It is also a celebration not only for me but also for my community - for their support and the chance they gave me to realize my potential in conservation.
— Ngeeti Lempate 'Mama Grevy'
grevy's zebra


Retetti, in northern Kenya is the first community owned elephant sanctuary in Africa. These two Grevy's live there too. I met them a year ago when they had just been rescued. Look at them now. They will soon be released into the wild. Another success story.

WorldWomenWork Scholarship Program

WWW Scholarship Program

WWW supports 5 girls who attend boarding school in Wamba, northern Kenya. It is such a privilege to visit them and see the strict but inspiring atmosphere they live in. Not only do we have the sanitary pad project but also this. The most important thing we can do is keep girls in school. It only takes $1,000 a year to change one life.

I thank all of you who make the work of WWW possible. I hope you feel inspired too!

Elephant Orphan Project with Save the Elephants

Veterinarians and Orphan Project researchers have sedated a Samburu elephant while attaching a new radio collar.

Veterinarians and Orphan Project researchers have sedated a Samburu elephant while attaching a new radio collar.

An estimated 100 African elephants are killed by poachers every day for their ivory and body parts. The victims of poaching reaches far beyond the life that has been taken. The impact of an elephant’s death extends to the family, the herd, and the ecosystem. The Elephant Orphan Project through Save the Elephants in Samburu, Kenya has been monitoring elephants in the Samburu National Reserve for over 15 years. Their research helps us understand the behavior, family ties, and interactions of orphans who have lost their matriarchs to poaching.

How do herds learn important survival skills without a leader? How do their migration patterns change? How does trauma affect behaviors and relationships among the remaining pack? These are the types of questions the Orphan Project is hoping to answer.

Over the course of 2014-15, the Orphan Project has developed a greater insight into the workings of elephant families, and the changes that can occur due to physical and psychological stress. During a recent exchange, Shifra Goldenberg, a PhD Candidate working under George Wittemyer, chair of STE’s scientific board, provided us with this update:

It has been over two years since the first orphaned elephants were radio collared. Their movements have been fascinating. Many seem to be ranging within much smaller subsets of their mothers’ previous ranges, some have completely shifted their ranges. These shifts seem to be connected to social strategies after poaching, associating with new groups, picking up the movement patterns of those groups. In some cases, the ranges are so different from those of their mothers that you would never guess they were from their original families. The collar data are revealing just how flexible these elephants are. Looking at their movement patterns together with their relationships with other families and information on survival and reproduction will give us a better idea of the lasting effects of poaching.

WorldWomenWork has spent the past few years and over $300,000 supporting the Elephant Orphan Project by providing all of the elephant radio collars, administrative support, operations, and research salaries. This year in 2018, we hope to give $400,000. This is the most we have ever given to one organization. With your contributions, we can help The Orphan Project continue their work. Even the smallest contribution makes a difference.

The Orphan Project runs entirely on donations like yours. Next year, we would like to provide the funds for the following operational costs:
10 Radio Collars for Corridor Movement ($2500 each)
10 Collaring operation costs (vet fees, meds, ect. – $1000 per operation)
10 Downloading and database management ($800 per collar)
Field work budget (vehicle repair and fuel) ($15,000/year)
Field researcher support (cost of living $8000/year)
International Travel (2 @ $2500)
University support for graduate student & publishing in peer-reviewed journals ($2000 per paper)

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This picture depicts two orphan sisters and their children crossing the Ewaso Nyiro in the dry season. They are from the American Indians family. Their mother, Aztec, died in 2009, likely from drought. In front, sniffing out for what may lie ahead, is Cree. Cree is 16 years old, but was only 10 when her mother died. Following Cree is Zuni. Zuni is 12 years old, but was only 6 when her mother died. Although the full ramifications of being orphaned are not yet understood, it is inspiring that Cree and Zuni were able to recover enough to bear offspring. Cree has a three year old calf, bringing up the rear in the photo. This calf is tuskless – a lucky occurrence for an elephant in today’s world. Zuni had her first calf in March, who is following her.

2017 Highlights: The Orphan Project with Save the Elephants and more

2017 has been an amazing year for WorldWomenWork.


These are just a few of the highlights:
We have completed our $400,000 commitment to "The Orphan Project" with Save The Elephants. An orphan sanctuary for Grevy's Zebra has been built at the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Northern Kenya and a workshop for the Grevy's Zebra Nkirreten (sanitary pad) Project has been built. A beautiful safari bus has been acquired and outfitted for conservation expeditions for Ewaso Lions. And two great WorldWomenWork adventure trips, Walking with Elephants in Myanmar and Walking in Zambia and Botswana have changed lives!

2017 with WorldWomenWork thanks to your efforts.

The brutality of humanity is often too much to bare, but there are still true inspirations happening all around us.

Munteli and her new companion Nanyori sit in her Suzuki below. The Mama Simba are powerful women who by learning to read and write are taking on the world for their lions!
~
You, our donors, are a powerful force because you make it all happen.
YOU ARE WORLDWOMENWORK.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

With Thanks and Gratitude, Singer


Ewaso Lions

WorldWomenWork October Update

We watched, mesmerized as young lions played with a canoe paddle on our recent WWW adventure to Botswana and Zambia. There is no way to describe this magnificent and innocent moment. Meanwhile North Korea was involved in wildlife trafficking and in Myanmar elephants were being poached with poisoned arrows and skinned, their skin used for 'health' jewelry. Even when terribly depressed by the world's inhumanity something inspiring is taking place, which keeps our passions alive.

Singer Rankin

Nothing personifies this more than the story of Kabu's rescue 2 years ago. Many of you helped to make this possible. She worked for 20 years in the logging industry despite a terrible injury to her left front leg while also having two babies. The first female baby was sold to a tourist camp and the little male died after the torture of the training crush. She is the epitome of resilience, a beautiful and gentle elephant loved by all who visit the Elephant Nature Park. Lek Chailert is a savior who inspires all who meet her.

Singer with the Grevy's Zebra Scouts

After being in Thailand with Kabu and Lek, I spent time in Samburu with the Grevy's Scouts and one of the highlights was trying to sew a sanitary pad on one of the new sewing machines WWW contributed. I was the center of a lot of laughter. I felt as though I was finally accepted into this amazing group. Not only are they tracking Grevy's with GPSs they are making additional income with a sanitary pad project which also enables their daughters to stay in school. These women are a true inspiration.

Samburu in Northern Kenya

Samburu in northern Kenya is experiencing an unparalleled drought. The food situation is desperate for wildlife. The herders of cattle and goats invade the conservation areas causing armed conflict. We were fortunate to be able to help distribute hay for the Grevy's. In one area diseases carried by domesticated animals wiped out packs of wild dogs.

A young elephant enjoying a snack at Sheldrick Wild Life Trust in Nairobi.

A young elephant enjoying a snack at Sheldrick Wild Life Trust in Nairobi.

I thank you so much for being a part of WorldWomenWork. You make everything we do possible. You are a part of every project. I hope that through these stories you feel just as inspired as I do.

Even though there is much to be depressed about in the wild world there is much to inspire us to feel passionately, to want to give back, to help.

Ewaso Lions September 2017 Project Update

Over the last 25 years the African lion population has fallen by half, there are only 25,000 left today.

I want to share with you a few very inspiring episodes in the lives of the Mama Simba whom WWW supports with great enthusiasm.

WWW is proud to be a partner in the Ewaso Lions Bush Bus. It will be used for their Lion Kids Camp program and to engage more kids across Kenya in conservation. It will also expose community members to wildlife safaris.

Ewaso Lions in Kenya

The mama Simba, Mothers of Lions, have become a true force for conservation. These are our lions and we must protect them. They go from village to village educating and empowering other women to be forces themselves!

Mama Simba of the Ewaso Lions in Kenya

Munteli, one of the two coordinators, has gotten her drivers license. Imagine the confidence it takes to do this. She has said, "So many of the ladies have seen she can drive that they now feel that the impossible is now the possible and they can do anything."

The Governor of Samburu was campaigning due to upcoming elections near by and Mparasaroi, the other coordinator, was speaking and told him how important conservation is to them and how a Samburu lady can drive, which he didn't believe and asked to meet Munteli and then asked her to drive him around which she did. Every single person came to shake her hand.

Mama Simba

Last February when I had gone to help with a village plastic bag clean up it was decided to start a recycling program. An area was designated and now the bins have been acquired and put in place. This is such an achievement.

These are Naramat's cubs, the result of only the third time in 10 years that a lioness has successfully breed with in the community landscape and the first time cubs have been born in the conservation area. This shows just how important the Mama Simba are in helping to educate people on the importance of protecting their lions! Again the Mama Simba are an inspiration.

None of these projects would be possible without your support!

lion cubs

The BBC recently shared a wonderful article on these amazing women: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160802-these-brave-women-have-found-a-way-to-live-alongside-lions