Body to support wildlife movement in Kajiado launched

From Left John Kisimir, David Olonana, and Simon Sosoika perusing documents during the launch of Ramat Wildlife Society in Bisil Town, Kajiado county on October 10, 2023. [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

A regional organization that will support the movement of wildlife in various conservancies in Kajiado County has been launched

RAMAT Wildlife Society was endorsed by conservancy leaders to be the umbrella body that represents conservancies at the national level.

It is an advocacy vehicle for a region that has had minimal conservation investment, while communities continue suffering from Human Wildlife Conflict.

The bulk of the member conservancies are found in the Matapato North and South, a vast area at the periphery of the Amboseli Ecosystem and West of the Namanga-Nairobi Highway.

"It is a new dawn for communities in Central Kajiado. We have been the hot spot of conflict with wildlife for too long, yet very little is being done to alleviate our pain. It is now time we find solutions from within," said Simon Sosoika, the board chairperson.

He said that currently there are 10 conservancies in the region within total space of 176,544 acres (71,444 hectares).

The largest conservancy is known as Lorbetera with 40,000 acres while the smallest is Olchorro Oiborr with 8,900 acres.

The conservancies are a dispersal zone for wildlife from the Amboseli Ecosystem and major wildlife migratory routes from Tanzania.

A mapping exercise for these conservancies was recently carried out by the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association so that the conservancies can be included in the national map as well as delineate boundaries for land owners.

The member conservancies include the Kikesen River Conservancy, Parsilet Conservancy, Kisapuk Conservancy and Oldoinyo Sambu Conservancy along the Tanzania border.

Other conservancies towards the Amboseli Ecosystem are Noosikitok Conservancy, Lorbetera Conservancy, Osewan Conservancy, Oltepesei and Olchorro Oiborr.

"We have fought the government for years over wildlife and gained nothing from it. We are now responding to President Ruto and Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku's call that the conservation space be increased beyond Amboseli," said Isaac Ole Pasua, Chairperson of the Noosikitok Conservancy.

RAMAT Wildlife Society is a registered entity under Section 10 of the Societies Act.

The name RAMAT emanates from the Maasai word "aRAMAT", which means holistic management of animals, families, the environment and the community in general.

The launch comes barely a week after Governor Joseph Ole Lenku called on the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to urgently work towards removing problematic elephants from the resident's settlements to avoid the ongoing human-wildlife conflict.

Lenku also asked the KWS to devise ways of responding on time whenever a distress call is made by the residents.