Study Site #2 – South Rift, Kenya
The Lodokilani Maasai occupy the region from the Loita escarpment eastward. Several Group Ranches still remain un-subdivided, largely due to leadership that has supported creating community-based protected areas, managed by Group Ranch committees. In these areas of seasonal joint use (livestock come into the Protected Areas during the dry season, when the tsetse belt recedes and wildlife retreat into the forest), wildlife populations are increasing. The community benefits from using the areas for educational tourism and research, to complement use of the rangelands for pastoralism and part of the forest belt for irrigation agriculture. Olkiramatian represents a positive example of community-managed conservation.
I-CAN’s partner organizations, the South Rift Land Owners Association (SORALO), directed by J. Kamanga, and Africa SOMA, headed by C. Archambault, run programs of community development and conservation facilitation in Olkiramatian, Shompole and Torosei (all sites in the pastoral property and poverty project). SORALO is also involved in cross-border collaboration with communities in the regions of Lake Natron and Enkare Naibor in Tanzania. MPIDO and the Pastoralist Development Network of Kenya (PDNK) also carry out programming in this region.
The chair of I-CAN’s Capacity Building Working Group, Stephen Moiko (under the supervision of J. Galaty), completed Ph.D work examining the governance institutions in Olkiramatian Group Ranch. Current I-CAN affiliated doctoral student Peadar Brehony is conducting his doctoral research on conservation and drought resilience in the Kenya-Tanzania borderlands. I-CAN MA student Kathleen Godfrey is currently writing up her thesis which focuses on community conservation efforts in Olkiramatian. Four I-CAN interns have worked in this site (Kathleen Godfrey and Christina Puzzolo in 2016, and Liam Ragan and Daniel Silver in 2017) carrying out research projects in partnership with SORALO. Their research outputs can be found here.
In January 2015, Nicholas Barber facilitated a three-day Participatory Video (PV) workshop with community members at the Lale’Enok Resource Centre in Olkiramatian.
Dr. Jacques Pollini has carried out two research scoping studies in this area: the first in Olkiramatian Group Ranch in October 2015, and the second in Oldonyo-Nyokie group ranch, Kajiado County, in June 2017. Both studies were conducted in partnership with SORALO.