Home > Who We Are > Past Projects
 
 

Olormakaun Maasai Cultural Village

The lion population of Nairobi National Park in Kenya has drastically decreased due to conflicts with the Maasai warriors in the Kitengela Conservation Area resulting from depredation of Maasai livestock.  The Maasai are dependant on their livestock alone, and because of the lions' predation, 27 of the 40 lions in the park have been killed. 

CattleKilled lion

Bill Jordan Wildlife Defense Fund USA's newest project, in alliance with African Pro-poor Tourism Development Center, is funding a community project aimed at providing an incentive to the Maasai community to protect wildlife within the Kitengela Conservation Area.  Through the development of the Olormakaun Maasai Cultural Village (Olormakaun is a Maasai word meaning hippo, as the village is located next to Hippo Point), we hope that this can be possible.

Women bead working Maasai group

Phase One:  The first phase of the project is complete, including conservation education, registration of the group as a co-operative society, selling of land shares to the members (currently 51), and construction of Maasai huts and goat pens.

 Lions drinking Maasai Lions

Phase Two:  The second phase will include construction of 8 more Maasai huts, construction of the community curio shop, community lecture hall, bridge and cattle boma, as well as preparation of camping grounds. 

Maasai Moran

Please help us raise funds to complete the second phase of the project!  With an adoption of the Maasai village, you can receive an authentic Maasai bead necklace, bangle or other jewelry made for you by the Maasai women, along with an adoption certificate featuring the village and a 6 month update on the progress of the village.

Adoption Pack $55

(Example of authentic Maasai bead necklace)

Pro-poor jewelry

Aberdare Post Appeal

The Aberdare National Park is one of the most spectacular wildlife areas in East Africa. It is a mountainous area containing a wealth of species including the endangered black rhino and many elephants. It is famous for the Treetops Hotel where Princess Elizabeth was staying when her father King George VI died and she became Queen 50 years ago.

Aberdare Project Rhinos

There is one major problem. The land around the park is fertile and intensively farmed, which is a great attraction to wildlife as an easy source of food. Elephants, baboons, as well as other species, come out of the park at night to feed on crops and destroy more than they eat, so they are shot by the farmers. Many are injured and retreat to the park to suffer.

The solution is to erect an electrified fence powered by solar panels, and a local charity called Rhino Ark was formed to tackle the fund raising and the work. 156 Kilometers of fence has already been erected to the delight of the farmers, but 160 Kilomete4rs still remain to be done. The fence serves another purpose - it deters poachers.

Until recently wooden posts were used and not only are they expensive but it depletes the forests of Kenya where there is a looming timber crisis. So Rhino Ark did some lateral thinking and began to make the posts from plastic waste which helps to relieve the country of choking plastic pollution. The waste is used raw without cleaning, fed into a milling machine and then through the extruder into a mould. The posts are 6 inches thick and 10 feet long. They have several advantages over wood. The electric wire can be fixed directly to the post without insulation. It is more difficult for baboons to maneuver over the smooth fence post as they now do with the wooden posts. The post doesn't break like the wooden post when leaned on be an elephant. They bend and spring back again. They are, of course, cheaper.

But! The machine to make them is old. Rhino Ark bought it second-hand. A new one costs $37,000. In addition, wire has to be purchased.

Rhino Ark came to us for help and we are asking for your support.

It is a most worthy project. The fence protects wildlife from poachers, protects farmland, recycles waste plastic and takes the pressure off forests.