ANTHONY ONYANGO vía web
Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Environmental Education and literacy program with support of funds from USAID and EKN successfully conducted a community guides training within Ol-pejeta conservancy. The training commenced on 9th of April 2015 and fruitfully came to a close on 20th of April. Therein, 23 community guides in attendance represented 13 conservation based organizations from all over Laikipia County, among them wildlife conservancies and community based organizations. They included, Ol Pejeta, Il-Ngwesi, Lewa, Mutara, Mt. Kenya Game Ranch, Sangare Ranch, Segera/Zeitz Foundation, Naibunga, Ngare Ndare Forest, LWF, Mugie, Community Outreach Art and Ol Lentille Sanctuary.
The major objective was to equip the community guides with knowledge and nature interpretation skills to effectively deliver environmental education in their respective work locations. Selectively, the intensive revised curricular included cross cutting units in the conservation field which included; Introduction to ecology, Natural History of East Africa Fauna and Flora, Conservation and Development in Laikipia vis a vis Global level, Introduction to Sustainable Tourism, Leadership and Conflict Management, Environmental Education delivery, Communication and Facilitation skills and Bush Craft Techniques.
To efficiently deliver these courses the facilitators engaged a participatory approach which included group works and outdoor activities. The excursions enhanced practicability and hands-on experience on real time occurrences where they visited several model institutions. This included;
a) Ngare Ndare Forest Trust- during the Sustainable tourism unit b) Mt. Kenya Game Ranch/William Holden Education Centre- during the Environmental education delivery unit c) Segera Ranch & Endana - Samuel Etoo Football Academy- during Conservation & Development in Laikipia unit, d) Marula Community Area- during Leadership & Conflict Management: Human-wildlife Conflicts e) Several sessions within Ol Pejeta Conservancy- during Ecology/Fauna and Flora/Communication & facilitation skills and Bush craft techniques
The facilitators, who expressed professionalism and expertise in delivering the units, were highly acquainted with conservation dynamics from different institutions within Laikipia, including guest speakers from National Museums of Kenya, Institute of Primate Research and Elephants Neighbors Centre. Consequently, we believe the training equipped the guides with informative and resourceful skills which will propel their delivery in the field and mould them as conservation ambassadors to their communities. They were awarded each with a certificate, handed over by Dr. Mulama of OL- Pejeta conservancy.