NPR - RANGE MANAGEMENT FOR CROPS, LIVESTOCK and WILDLIFE ON KENYA’S EQUATOR
There are considerable challenges to be faced to earn a livelihood from the semi-arid land of Laikipia, Kenya. These include periodic droughts, lack of water resources, poor infrastructure, lack of political support and the need for cooperation with neighbours. Since Kenya became independent in 1963, there have been big changes in the management of these properties, the most notable being the introduction of tourism in the 1980s which has prospered owing to the large reservoir of wildlife which exists in the area and the formation of Conservancies to protect the latter. Much of the income of the ranches is now derived from upmarket tourist lodges and safaris. However, they are still major food producers especially of quality livestock and some crops. Particular reference is made to the combined Lewa/Borana Conservancy which consists of two privately owned conservancies which have removed the fences between them to establish the largest Conservancy in the Country with a rich population of wildlife. A large area of land within Lewa was owned by one of the author’s relatives until the 1980s and his personal experience of its development over the past half century is detailed in this presentation. Conclusions for a better future are drawn.
Keywords: pastoralists; ranchers; wildlife; Conservancy; management