Mountain Dispatches: News from the Mount Kenya Trust April 2014
Pictorial news and highlights from the Mount Kenya Trust January - March 2014
The first quarter of the year always poses the risk of fires on Mount Kenya due to the seasonally dry conditions. As always our men were on hand to fight fires in January and February this year when they broke out on the northern foothills of the mountain on two separate occasions. Our team managed to handle the January fire. In February Kisima Farm, Marania Farm and Kenya Wildlife Service teams worked together over several days to put out a large fire that spread easily due to hot windy days. Another large fire which was started in the Burguret area was dealt with by KWS teams. As a result of this collaborative work dense forested areas were saved from harm. Thankfully there was some unseasonal rain in mid February which helped to reduce any further risk of fires over the following weeks.
Thanks to a new collaboration involving BATUK, KWS, Kenya Forest Service, Rhino Ark and the Mount Kenya Trust we have inventories of teams and equipment, and protocols in place to deal with serious fires following the devastating fires of 2012. Plans for training with community groups and the development of fire management plan are nearly complete.
Just a fraction of the snares and one poachers den discovered by our teams in the first 3 months of this year. All snares and traps are collected and pits traps are destroyed.
Logging in some parts of the Mount Kenya forest remain alarmingly prevalent. Several arrests were made in March by our own teams and information leading to further arrests by the Kenya Wildlife Service were made thanks to our teams and informers. We are unable to share pictures of the culprits but the chainsaws and tools used by one group are pictured. Sadly these are just a few of the photos of several discoveries of logging sites and loggers at work in the past three months.
Some of the 22,000 cedar trees planted last year in the Karuri area thanks to profits from the SAX 10to4 Mountain Bike challenge. We are working with the Kenya Forest Service and communities who live on the boundaries of the National Reserve to help reforest the area which was previously settled by squatters. The community members are being given temporary plots to plant beans and potatoes in return for planting the cedar seedlings alongside their crops. In contrast to the shamba system these communities are not displaced, they come from the area and do not take up residence at the plots unless it is time to harvest. We lost some of the cedars because some individuals took less care during harvesting, so we are developing a better incentive system for taking good care of the saplings. There are several thousand saplings that are doing extremely well and we are replanting some of the areas.
February 2014 - The Fly540 10to4 was a roaring success. We raised 3.2 million shillings thanks to our sponsors, partners and participants and the feedback has been excellent. We'll announce the date for the Feb 2015 event in our next newsletter. Pictured is the start of the Hardcore event from Borana Race Village on Day 1 of the 10to4 races.
The winners of the men's Fly540 10to4 Extreme Event (competing on both days in the Hardcore and the Classic with the fastest times) and members of the best overall team were three of the Sossi Safari Simbaz:
Joyce Nyaruri was the first and only lady to finish both events in the Extreme. For more results and times please click on the photo.
The new Braeburn children's race at the 10to4 catering for children up to 12 years old. It was incredibly well received and Braeburn have pledged to sponsor the event again. This brings the total number of individual events at the 10to4 to nine! This is, and will, remain a family friendly event with many options for all ages and abilities.
Fi Ansett, Petrina Spencer-Walker, Karen Lawrence and Meggan Poole and their horses set themselves a huge challenge in order to raise money for our horse patrol team over the 10to4 season. For 3 days in mid February they rode from Nanyuki to the Loldaigas, the Loldaigas to Lolomarik Farm near Timau and Lolomarik to the Borana Race Village (the finish of the main 10to4 event) the day before the 10to4 mountain bike events kicked off. The hot dry conditions and distances covered each day make this an extremely tough ride. They have already raised over 350,000 KSh for the Horse Patrol Team. Thank you so very much ladies!
You can still support the horse patrol team and the completed horse safari by clicking on the link below!
In January our Field Co-ordinator Humphrey Munene and a KWS team visited 17 schools around Mount Kenya to distribute posters and invite the students to take part in a National KWS Essay Competition designed to raise awareness and help create an understanding about conservation issues.
In February our Humphrey ran a week of our education visits to schools, this time in Embu County. He was accompanied by the KWS Embu Station Warden. They reached around 2,000 primary and secondary students in 6 schools. Each school term Humphrey and one or two KWS personnel target different areas around Mount Kenya visiting the schools nearest to the boundaries of the Mount Kenya National Reserve to show films, donate books and give presentations about our natural resources to bring awareness to youngsters. Our education programme also reaches adults when Humphrey joins up with our patrol teams to bring awareness to adults living in close proximity to the National Reserve.
A team of equine dentists from the UK come out to Kenya regularly to work with horses around the country. They were kind enough to donate their services to the Mount Kenya Trust's Horse Patrol Team for the second time running this March. Thank you so much to the Equine Dental Services guys for your kind contribution!
Attendants of the Laikipia Wildlife Security Task force in March. The Trust was invited to attend on of the countrywide task force meetings set up by the Government to review National wildlife security.
Parting shot - our Horse Patrol base on Kisima Farm right on the boundary of the Mount Kenya National Reserve.
Batian Level Donors The Woodcock Family Charitable Trust
Nelion Level Donorsand Event Sponsors 10to4 Title Sponosorship: Fly540
Lenana Level Donors & Events The Safaricom Marathon
Coryndon Level Donors The George Drew Foundation, Eden Wildlife Trust
Piggot Level Donors & Events Jeremy and Claire Evans, The International Elephant Foundation 10to4: Tropic Air, BATUK
Dutton Level Donors & Events The 3-Day '10to4' Horse Ride 10to4: Highlands, SAAB, Farwell Consultants, Royal African Safaris, Born Free Foundaton, Timaflor, Langata Link, Tambuzi, Zax Fitness, Solaris, Syngenta, Finlays, Trout Tree Restaurant, Maisha Flour Mills, Raka Cheese, African Ascents, Kitengela Hot Glass, Rift Valley Adventures, The Solar Experts, Anselm Kitengela Hot Glass & Tropical Heat.
Thanks to our regular contributors for their assistance so far this year: Gill Tree, Ol Donyo Farm, Steve Strong, Dom Weeks, Melissa Neil, Vicky Tait, Ala & Sue Dixon.
Many thanks to Jenny Groom and Morten Jensen for their voluntary time working on the Trust's accounts for the Finance Committee.
Fly540 10to4 Mountain Bike Challenge 2014 Major Sponsors: Fly540, Tropic Air, BATUK and Highlands Water.
Major Partners: Borana, Kisima Farm, Marania Farm, The Kenya Wildlife Service, The Born Free Foundation, the Ngare Ndare Forest Trust and Ol Donyo Farm.
Organisers: Adele Wilson, Susie Weeks, Martin Dyer and the MKT team.
Volunteer Organising Committee: Simon Lee, Jamie Christian, Olly Keeble, Don White, Alex Tibwitta, Dani Murray, Richard Harney.
Volunteers and support: Jamie Roberts, Charlie Dyer, Michael Spencer, Llwellelyn Dyer, John Mugambi, Tracy White, Paul Benson, Karina Jessop, Rose Dyer, Jimmy & Rose Caldwell, Jamie & Dani Murray, Bryn & Tara Llewelyn, Michael & Nicky Dyer, Neil Hargreaves, Tom Lawrence, David Ngundo, Brandon Barbour, Akira Gaymer, Anita Norris, Eleanor Monbiot, Allison Allport, Henry Van der Does, Jimmy Greenwood, Ronan Gunn, Nadee Abudulla, Laikipa Wildlife Forum and Born Free Team.
The 3 Day 10to4 Horse Ride 2014: Many many thanks to Fi Ansett, Megan Poole, Petrina Spencer-Walker and Karen Lawrence for their fabulous fundraising ride and the many people who supported them.
Want to help? Please join our 'Give a Drop' supporters who are contributing to the work of the Mount Kenya Trust
Individual supporters: Contribute just 1,000/- per month sent as 12,000/- to become an annual supporter. Small businesses: Please consider contributing just 2,500/- per month sent as 30,000/- annual support. Larger businesses: Please consider contributing 5,000/- per month sent as 60,000/- annual support.
If you are in Kenya the easiest way to contribute is to send your support directly to our bank account via using the following instructions:
To transfer the amount to Mt. Kenya Trust, Standard Chartered Bank account; on your phone go to: 1. SIM application 2. Choose MPESA 3. Choose Pay Bill 4. Enter business no. – 329329 5. Enter account no. – 0108033190000 6. Enter amount……… (limit is 75,000/- per transaction) Email firstname.lastname@example.org the reference
For assistance to make the payments by cheque or transfer please email Lillian for more details. We really appreciate your help!