From criminals to environmental champions, the radical shift in Samburu

Written By: Nicholas Kigondu/Bruno Mutunga

A section of political leaders drawn from Samburu County have joined hands in support of wildlife conservation efforts, resolving to commit resources towards the establishment of projects that promote tourism activities for the benefit of the local community.

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Speaking at the Kalama Community Wildlife Conservancy during the roll out of a women empowerment programme, Samburu  Governor Moses Lenolkulal, Women Representative Maison Leshoomo and Samburu East Member of Parliament Jackson Lekumontare Lentoijoini noted that members of the Samburu Community had realized the economic benefits of conserving wildlife and departed from past criminal ways where poaching and hunting for game meat was rampant across the county.

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They lauded the conservation efforts spearheaded by the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) which supports a total of 39 community conservancies across the Country, with nine of them being within Samburu County. The Conservancies within Samburu County are Sera, Westgate, Kalama, Meibae, Ngilai, Nkoteiya, Ltungai, Nalowuon and Namunyak.

County Governor Moses Lenolkulal said that as a result of the partnership between the County Government and the Northern Rangelands Trust, the county is now covered by community conservancies from Archers Post in Samburu East to the tip of Samburu North, a move that has helped fight organized crime  including  poaching, highway banditry and cattle rustling, while providing employment opportunities to hundreds of youths who serve as conservancy rangers and scouts.

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He lauded the County Assembly of Samburu for coming up with a legislation that provides a legal framework for the County Government to commit resources towards supporting Community Wildlife Conservancies, adding that his administration has committed 105 Million shillings this month while an additional 15 Million  will come from the Ward Development Fund to support operations within the nine conservancies.

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Northern Rangelands Trust CEO Tom Lalampaa hailed the support by the County Government of Samburu towards conservation efforts that has seen the construction of a five-star hotel within Kalama Community Wildlife Conservancy at a cost of Kshs. 300 Million is.

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County Woman Representative Maison Leshoomo and Samburu East Member of Parliament Jackson Lekumontare Lentoijoni said those who were previously known for criminal activities such as Poaching and highway banditry have now been transformed into champions of wildlife and environmental conservation courtesy of the establishment of community conservancies in the region.




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