The Plastic Ban

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By Eric Rugara

stock-photo-waste-plastic-bottles-and-other-types-of-plastic-waste-at-the-thilafushi-waste-disposal-site-426187984

We have grown up using plastic bags. Plastic bags are not just a commodity. They are a way of life. We carry our shopping in plastic bags. Scratch that, we carry almost everything in plastic bags.

But starting August 28th this year, all that will change.

For most of us, this is a deeply abstract concept. In fact, it borders on the impossible. We can’t conceive of a world where plastic bags are not the norm.

And perhaps deep inside we don’t want to imagine such a world.

Yes, it will be a cleaner and more beautiful world. There will be no more eyesores of plastic bags sticking on the branches of trees. No more plastic bags half-buried in the ground on the streets of our once-clean neighborhoods.

It is a utopian dream for most of us. If you are reading this blog, you probably have a sense of responsibility when it comes to your environment. It pains you to see where the world is heading, and you want to do something about it.

On February 28th 2017, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources announced to the public with Gazette notice No. 2334 that six months from the day of the gazette (28th August), the use of plastic bags will be banned in the country.

The ban covers manufacture, importation, as well as commercial use and household packaging of plastic bags.

Why is the government banning plastic bags?

Some of the reasons the government gave for banning plastic bags include:

-Plastic does not biodegrade/decompose.

-Litter.

-Drainage blockages.

-Ecosystem damage.

-Harmful to animals if they consume them.

-Air pollution when burned in the open air.

NEMA’s press statement on the plastic ban states that anyone who “contravenes the provision of the gazette notice shall be liable to a fine not less than two million Kenya Shillings, and not more than four million Kenya Shillings, or imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than four years or to both such fine and imprisonment”.

The six-month grace period is intended to give manufacturers and importers of plastic bags enough time to set their houses in order.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers’ response

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers released a statement, contending with the government’s decision, claiming that they had not been adequately consulted. KAM asserts that there are over 176 plastic manufacturing companies in the country which “directly employ 2.89% of all Kenyan employees and indirectly employ over 60,000 people”.

KAM argues that the ban will adversely impact on the jobs and livelihoods of Kenyans who work in the plastic manufacturing sector. The association also points out that since imported products which come packaged in plastic bags will not be affected by the ban, there will be an uneven playing field, with Kenyan companies holding the short end of the stick.

Timing

The ban came on the heels of George King’ori’s online petition. Mr. King’ori started the petition in November 2016. The aim was to convince the President and Parliament to ban plastic bags in the country. At the time of writing this article, the petition has 5,924 signatures.

Some detractors have wondered at the timing of the ban. This being an election year, a few people are bound to get suspicious. However, it seems the Ministry has been working towards this goal for quite a while if this 2015 tweet by the cabinet secretary is anything to go by:

judi wakhungu tweet.PNG

The UN approves

The UN’s environment agency reports that Kenyan supermarkets give out 100 million plastic bags annually. The organization notes that plastic bags are one of the major causes of environmental damage and health problems. They cause the death of birds, fish, and other animals who ingest them. In addition, they turn tourist sites into eyesores, they cause damage to agricultural land, and they act as breeding grounds for mosquitoes which transmit illnesses like malaria and dengue fever.

Kenya’s plastic ban was announced three weeks after the UN announced a “war on plastic” with its Clean Seas initiative. The initiative has already gotten commitments by 10 governments that they will address plastic pollution.

The UN’s Head of Environment, Erik Solheim commended Kenya for taking decisive action to remove what he called “an ugly stain on [Kenya’s] outstanding natural beauty”. He expressed hopes that Kenya’s action will inspire other countries to do the same, or at least increase the number of commitments to the Clean Seas campaign.

If plastic usage goes unchecked; by 2050, the oceans of our planet will have more plastic in them than fish. Every year 8 million tons of plastic find their way to the sea.

 

Character Profile: The Black Rhino

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By Eric Rugara

You have seen them in wildlife documentaries.

They remind you of an old guy – a tough one. Like an ex-boxer. A tough old geezer who could dangle you upside down by the ankle.

That ancient face. The two horns, one in front of the other. Those small, dark, beady eyes. Dark leathery skin.  A body built like a bus – strong. And like many old men, they are short-tempered and half-blind.

black rhino

“You wanna spar, huh?”

I am, of course, talking about the black rhino.  One of the most endangered species in Kenya. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists it as Critically Endangered, which is only one level better than Extinct in the Wild and two levels better than Extinct.

Habitats and ranges

Diceros bicornis aka the hook-lipped rhinoceros (as opposed to the square-lipped white rhinoceros) is native to eastern and southern Africa. You can find this rhino species in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland, and Namibia.

The black rhino can be found in a variety of habitats. For instance, in Namibia, it thrives in the desert areas. In Kenya, it lives either in the wet forested areas of the country’s highlands or in the grassy savannas.

Physical characteristics

Its height varies between 1.3m and 1.8m.

Its weight ranges from 800kg to 1400kg.

It has two horns, with the one in front being longer and having a somewhat arced shape.

Though we call it the black rhino, black is not its actual color. Its skin may be dark yellow-brown, or it could be dark brown or dark gray.

Diet

Black rhinos are browsers. While grazers such as the white rhinoceros subsist on grass, browsers feed on leaves, twigs, branches, and the stems of shrubs. They also eat legumes and herbs.

Other characteristics and peculiarities

The black rhino has terrible eyesight, but its hearing is top notch. It also has an excellent sense of smell.

They are unpredictable and dangerous.

Most of them are solitary.

Black rhinos living in the same range are familiar with one another, but aggressive to strangers.

They are not very territorial, and their territories may intersect.

Male black rhinos sleep twice as much as the females.

No predator can dare attack an adult rhino – except crocodiles in exceptional circumstances. Their dangerous horns, their hulking size, and their tough skin make them unbeatable – which is perhaps why they don’t feel the need to form herds. They are safe even from the king of the jungle. Only an inexperienced young male lion would think of attacking an adult rhino – a mistake he will never repeat in his lifetime!

For such large beasts, they can really move – as much as 55km/h, running on their toes.

When mating, a male and a female will stay together for two to three days, sometimes weeks. During this period, they mate several times each day, with each copulation session lasting a half hour.

The gestation period is between 15 and 16 months.

The newborn calf weighs between 35kg and 50kg. After three days, it can begin to follow its mother wherever she goes. At two years, the calf is weaned.

Females sexually mature at ages 5 to 6, while with males it’s 7 to 8 years.

Absent of the poaching threat, black rhinos can live as long as 50 years.

Where can you see black rhinos in Kenya?

  1. Nairobi National Park

2. Solio Game Reserve

3. Maasai Mara National Reserve

4. Ruma National Park

5. Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary in Tsavo West National Park

6. Ol Pejeta Conservancy

7. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

8. Borana Wildife Conservancy

9. Il Ngwesi Group Ranch

10. Lake Nakuru National Park

11. Aberdare National Park

Poaching

In the 1970s, we had 20,000 black rhinos in Kenya. Today, we have less than 600. That really makes you think, doesn’t it? The remaining rhinos are in sanctuaries, where they are safe from poachers.

As we noted earlier, the IUCN Red List of Threatened species classes the black rhino as Critically Endangered. In fact, poaching has so greatly decimated this magnificent beast that where thousands of rhinoceros used to freely roam this continent, today only about five thousand can be found in Africa. All thanks to wealthy individuals In Asia with a lust for exotic items crafted from rhino horn.

On the bright side

The good news though is that KWS has done a commendable job in the last few years to bring down poaching levels in the country.

As I write this, I am looking at a graph that maps rhino poaching statistics in Kenya from 2006 to 2015.

From a ridiculous high in 2013, when 59 rhinos were killed, KWS were able to bring down the number to 11 in 2015.

So there is hope that we just might win this war against poaching.

3D Printing: Trojan Horse?

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By Eric Rugara

When I first heard about 3D printing, my mind spun. Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a novel manufacturing process that enables you to create three dimensional objects by forming successive layers of material under computer control. It’s the future of manufacturing. Just as past technologies have disrupted entire industries, 3D printing is set to revolutionize and shake up the manufacturing industry. According to Bill Nye, additive manufacturing will democratize manufacturing in the same way art has been democratized; for instance, anyone can now mix their own musical tracks at home, and afterwards post them on Youtube – anyone can be a musician.

But what was most interesting for me was 3D printings possible impact on the ivory trade. Several biotech companies are working to 3d print synthetic rhino or elephant horn in a bid to push poachers out of the market. My initial reaction was joy, as I immediately thought, “Technology has saved the day again”. I honestly believed that 3D printing spelled the doom for elephant and rhino poaching.

But as soon as I did some research, I discovered that I was wrong. Rather than leap in joy at what by all definitions would seem to be a magic formula for their perennial problem of dealing with poaching, Wildlife Conservation groups have been hesitant, with some being downright antagonistic to the idea of introducing synthetic rhino horn and elephant tusks or pangolin scales into the market.

Save the Rhino International (SRI) and The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) issued a statement on June 2015 in which they questioned the benefits of the proposed manufacture of synthetic rhino horn by biotech companies. Their main contention is expressed in this simple question: “But will the manufacture and sale of synthetic horn mean that fewer rhinos are poached? Or will it expand the market for such products, complicate law-enforcement, and lead to more rhino killings?”

One of the companies spearheading this initiative is Pembient, a US biotech company based in Seattle, Washington. I found this statement on their website: “We are leveraging advances in biotechnology to fabricate wildlife products, such as rhino horn and elephant ivory, at prices below the levels that induce poaching our goal is to replace the illegal wildlife trade, a $20B black market, the fourth largest after drugs, arms, and human trafficking, with sustainable commerce.”

Conservationists have protested against Pembient’s intentions, pointing out that instead of solving the poaching problem, their commercialization of rhino horn and rhino horn products will only aggravate it, and almost certainly open more markets for illicit horn trade.

Kenya is home to a variety of national parks and game reserves, providing habitats for elephants, rhinos, and other wild animals. Today the elephant population is estimated at 38,000, which is a considerable number, though highly at risk because of the relentless poaching.  The Black Rhinoceros population is smaller, with the number being 612 in 2009, which makes them a higher priority. Elephant poaching peaked in 2012, when 384 elephants were killed. For rhino poaching, the peak was in 2013, when 59 rhinos were killed. This is why Kenyans must pay close attention to the current developments in the rhino horn and elephant ivory markets vis a vis 3D printing. When the time comes, and you have to choose a stand, it will help if you already know the benefits and consequences of the same.

In the Illiad, the Greek poet Homer narrates the story of the Trojan War. For ten years the impenetrable city of Troy was under siege, and the war raged relentlessly until the crafty Odysseus, king of Ithaca had a bright idea. One day the citizens of Troy saw the Greek armies retreating. Shouts of joy went up around the city streets. On close inspection, they realized that the Greeks had left something: a tall wooden horse. After consultation, the wise men of Troy decided that the Greeks had left the horse as a gift, signalling their acceptance of defeat. So the Trojans rolled the wooden horse into their city, and commenced celebrations.

That night, when everyone in the city was sleeping, Greek men who were hiding within the wooden horse, stole out, killed the guards, and opened the city gates, at which the rest of the Greek armies poured into Troy, and mowed down everyone with the edge of the sword. Since that day, the phenomenon of a harmless seeming (and indeed useful appearing) thing being the precursor of something harmful or evil has been known as the Trojan Horse.

My question is: could this 3D printing of rhino and elephant horns be a Trojan Horse? Are we, like the Trojans, leaping with joy at what seems to be an unexpected boon, when in fact we are welcoming the doom, the enemy? Is this how we lose the war against poaching? Tell us what you think in the comment section.

The Standard Gauge Railway to Pass through Nairobi National Park

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By Eric Rugara

I am writing this on October 20th, Mashujaa Day. As I write this, I am reading an article on yesterday’s Nation. The headline: Uhuru Ignores SGR controversy and Commissions Second Phase of Project. At the same time I am perusing a pdf titled  Environmental Impact Assessment Study Report for the Proposed Re-alignment of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Within Nairobi National Park.

In case you do not properly understand what the Standard Gauge Railway project is, let me quote the EIA report: “China Road and Bridge Corporation (Kenya) has been contracted to construct the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). The SGR will significantly influence land use and spur development in the areas along and around where it will transverse.”

And its connection with Nairobi National Park? Again I will quote the Environmental Impact Assessment Report: “The proposed 8.85Km SGR realignment will be located within the Nairobi National Park (NNP). The park was gazetted in 1946 as the first National Park in Kenya and indeed the East African Region and covers an area of 117Km² (KWS, 2005). NNP is one of the world’s most unique protected areas, due to its location within a few kilometres from a major city, Nairobi, which has a fast growing human population of over three million people. It is ranked fifth in respect to visitation and income generation receiving in excess of 100,000 visitors annually since the 1950s with average revenue earning approximately USD 0.6 million per year (KWS, 2005).”

To impress on you the importance of the Nairobi National Park, I will quote Elias Muthama’s 3rd October 2016 article, Kenya:  “What makes Nairobi the most exceptional capital city is because it is the only city with a game reserve within it. Nairobi National Park which is located on the Southern part of the city is home to a variety of wild animals including the African Lion, Zebras, Giraffes and more than 400 species of birds. The fact that the human population in this metropolitan city live in harmony with a population of wildlife at a close range makes it one of the most amazing capital cities in the world.”

Which is why if you google “SGR Railway Nairobi National Park”, you will get articles bearing the following headings: “Controversial Railway Splits Kenya’s Parks, Threatens Wildlife” from National Geographic’s website; “Tribunal blocks Standard Gauge Railway Route through Nairobi National Park” from the Standard’s website; “Uhuru lashes out at Opponents of SGR City National Park Route” also from the Standard’s website; “Kenya Railways Explains why Park Route is Best for SGR” from the Star’s website; “Court Restrains Planned Railway Construction in Nairobi National Park” from the East African Wildlife Society’s website; and “Press Release: Kenyans Vow to ‘Protect their National Parks” from the Conservation Alliance of Kenya’s website.

This tidbit from the Conservation Alliance of Kenya article of 22nd September 2016 might interest you: “On August 17th 2016, the Conservation Alliance was invited to the Ministry of Environment offices to listen to a presentation from KRC on SGR Phase 2. To our shock and dismay we realized the route had long been determined and they merely wanted the Alliance to endorse the decision. They also indicated the project was to be launched soon by His Excellency the President. Out of the 7 options that KRC indicated they had considered, they together with KWS arrived at the decision of the ‘Modified Savannah route -4’ that cuts right through the middle of the park end to end. We give candid and constructive feedback indicating that there had been no engagement as promised, no information provided on the feasibility studies with the economic, ecological and other arguments that informed the decision. We expressed concern that there was no more time for genuine stakeholder assessment and requested that the decision be deferred till relevant documents were reviewed by stakeholders. Follow up letters to the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Environment, KWS and to KRC requesting all technical documents so that CAK could provide expert opinion have gone un-answered. The press announcement by KWS Chairman last week, in what seemed to be an ambush approach has left Kenyans wondering if our Parks are really a heritage we are committed to protect.”

As with most controversial projects, the SGR/NNP saga is a complex matter. Which is why I have not at this point in time made any conclusions. This article is a compilation of resources. Follow the links, and you will have enough information to form your own conclusion. In next week’s article, I will give you the conclusions I arrive at after reading through everything carefully. I hope you will do the same. We can have a discussion afterwards.

The Great Wildebeest Migration

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                    Photo: Flickr/Steve Safari

By Eric Rugara

What’s with all the hullabaloo?

Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve is home to the “World Cup of Wildlife”; but you still don’t get what the wildebeest migration brouhaha is all about. Okay, so they do look mighty fine rushing through the grassy savannah in their formations, an immense flood of undulating flesh, awesome to the eye and titillating to the heart. Like beholding a great work of art, or a historical monument. Or a Wonder of the World. The annual wildebeest migration that takes place in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in East Africa was in 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania, named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.

Snap-Snap-Cruch-Crunch

For most people the highlight of the spectacle is when those white bearded beasts huddle in fear at the edge of the Mara River, those at the forefront dipping their hooves into the water tremblingly, until their numbers accumulate, and the pressure of the mass behind them pushes them into the water, and suddenly they are all leaping into the river; and the crocodiles lying in wait snap open their massive jaws, crushing wildebeest limb and body with relish, smacking their lips. Hundreds die, whether from croc or from drowning; many more cross over.

Are Wildebeests Kenyan or Tanzanian?

You know how Kenya and Tanzania have been rivals about most things since the time of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere? Most Kenyans, the writer of this article included, believe that the wildebeest migration is a predominantly Kenyan thing, with Tanzania sharing a piece. The opposite is in fact the reality. The wildebeests spend three quarters of the year in Tanzania, migrating to Kenya for about three months each year before returning to Tanzania.

The Wildebeest Migration is solely a wildebeest thing, right?

Another misconception that was dashed to the ground: that the Great Migration is solely a wildebeest affair. Not so. In addition to the 1.7 million White Bearded Wildebeests, there are 400,000 Thompson Gazelles, 300,000 zebras, and 12,000 eland that join the circus each year and travel, in search for greener pastures, to Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.

That thing that happens once a year, right?

Third misconception: that the Migration is an event. All the marketing campaigns package it as such. The “annual Great Wildebeest Migration”. It gives you the feeling that the migration is a project the animals take up each year at a specific time, and that like all projects it has a start date and a finish date. Not true. The migration is a never-ending phenomenon, very much like the wheel of birth and death. It is an endless circling of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem by these animals in search of grass to eat and water to drink.

The Serengeti Ecosystem

The theatre of this spectacle is the Serengeti ecosystem. This East African ecosystem comprises parts of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Maswa Game Reserve in Tanzania, and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

The Migration

The migration is dictated by the area’s rainfall patterns. In other words, the wildebeests and crew follow the rains and the grass. In January there is grass and rain in Ngorongoro, and that’s where the animals have camped. While zebras feed on tall grass, wildebeest prefer the shorter variety. In February they are in the South Eastern part of the ecosystem, and it’s calving season. The wildebeests give birth to 500,000 calves during a two to three week period. A newborn wildebeest calf is on its feet in less than three minutes after birth. At five minutes, the calf can run with the herd, and afterwards it can outrun a lion.

As the rains end in May, the herds begin to move North West, around the Grumeti River in Tanzania. Here they will remain until late June. July is the month of the magical moment that tourists from around the world have been waiting for: the crossings of the Grumeti and the Mara Rivers. Tourists flock into the area in their land rovers, brandishing cameras and smart phones. In a parallel world, the animals are probably reading about the annual Great Tourist Migration, which coincides with the Wildebeest Migration.

The Nile Crocodiles submerged under the water surface do not disappoint.  But they are not the only ones who have been waiting for the coming of the wildebeests. The Maasai Mara is full of predators: lions, leopards, cheetahs, and spotted hyenas. In fact it has one of the highest densities of lions in the world. The migration is a life and death affair. 250,000 wildebeests die in the 800km journey from Tanzania to Kenya. They die from a variety of factors: thirst, hunger, exhaustion, drowning, and predators. Darwin’s word is law: survival for the fittest. And those who survive are best suited for bringing strong offspring into the world.

For the remainder of the dry season, they camp at the Maasai Mara in Kenya. But with the November short rains coming in, they begin the Southward journey back to Tanzania. And the cycle continues. It will soon be a new year, and in February they will calve, and in May they will begin to move North, and in July they will once more cross the Mara in conditions of great peril. Thousands will die, but thousands more will survive, and the wheel of birth and death will keep ever turning, and the wildebeest shall continue to abide by Walt Disney’s motto: KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

Threats and Conservation

According to the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species, the population of these amazing animals, which were once found in large concentrations, have reduced due to the encroachment of their habitats by human settlements and herding of livestock; watershed deforestation and expropriation of water sources for irrigation purposes has led to elimination of water sources, upon which wildebeests are dependent; and by poachers who kill them for their meat. Human beings have also erected fences that block their migration paths, which has led to mass die-off events, with the wildebeests denied access to water and to higher-rainfall refuges during severe droughts.

Although the wildebeests are not an endangered species, their value cannot be gainsaid, especially when you factor in the number of tourists and the goodwill they bring to East Africa from around the world every year. They may not be at immediate threat today, but they will be tomorrow, if we do not check our voracious appetites for land ownership and land development. Loss of the wildebeests would also deal a deadly blow to predator populations in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, especially the big cats. As we mentioned earlier, this eco-system possesses one of the highest population densities of lions in the world. Wildebeests are a plentiful food source for most of these predators, and if the wildebeests were to reduce or disappear from the food chain, there would be adverse effects on the populations of lions and other predators in the ecosystem.

Kenya

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Kenya. What comes to mind when someone mentions that word? I bet most people think about the Kips and Cheps who win long distance races in almost all the athletic events around the world. Others probably think of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, who was the first president of the Democratic Republic of Kenya. Barrack Obama, the first black president of the United States of America is also another household name closely related to Kenya because his father was a native of Kenya.

I however, think about a handful of other things that I prioritize that go vis-a-vis when the name Kenya is mentioned.

1. Nairobi

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A lone giraffe in Nairobi National Park.
Source: Wikipedia

What is so important about Nairobi you ask? Well, apart from being the capital of our beautiful country, it’s the most exceptional capital city in the world. Nairobi which is a name derived from the Maasai language, one of the many ethnic tribes in Kenya. Nairobi also popularly known as Green City in the Sun was derived from the phrase ‘Enkare Nairobi‘ meaning “cool water”. It is the second largest city in East Africa with a population of more than 3 Million people. What makes Nairobi the most exceptional capital city is because it is the only city with a game reserve within it. Nairobi National Park which is located on the Southern part of the city is home to a variety of wild animals including the African Lion, Zebras, Giraffes and more than 400 species of birds. The fact that the human population in this metropolitan city live in harmony with a population of wildlife at a close range makes it one of the most amazing capital cities in the world.

2. Wangari Mathaai (1/4/1940 – 25/9/2011)

Wangari Mathai, an environmentalist, political activist and writer is one of the most phenomenal women from this part of the African continent. She was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. She was a professor who pioneered the Greenbelt Movement(1977) which is a Non profit organization that dealt in planting trees, environmental conservation and the rights of women. She led various protests against actions that threatened the environment. She successfully led protests that stopped the then government from constructing a sixty storey building in Uhuru Park and the privatization of portions of Karura Forest.

3. The Big Five

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Photo: Facebook/African Soul

Africa is known to be the home of The Big Five and Kenya is particularly endowed to have all of the animal species popularly known as The Big Five. Elephants, Lions, Buffaloes, Rhinos and Leopards are the species that make up this list. Tourists from all parts of the world visit African savannas and grasslands the see these wild animals in their natural habitats. Lions are known for their mane and their hunting skills. Elephants are known for their long trunks and tusks. Buffaloes are known for their agility and strength. Rhinos are known for their horns and their tendency to bash things. Leopards are known for their beautiful spotted skins and ability to climb trees. These animals uniquely belong in the African wild.

4. Wildebeest Migration

The Migration has come to be termed as one of nature’s most spectacular events. This spectacle attracts tourists from all over the world and it has become a world wonder.Every year Wildebeests, Zebras and Antelopes do a clockwise migration around the Mara/Serengeti ecosystem. Maasai Mara which extends to the Kenya-Tanzania border is connected to Serengeti, a park in our neighbouring country. The migration happens twice a year when animals cross River Mara to either Maasai Mara or Serengeti depending on seasonal climatic changes. The animals cross to Mara during the month of August and return to Serengeti on November.

Kenya is just a tiny country in the East of Africa but it is endowed with natural resources. With so much going on in the country it is only prudent to remember to conserve our biodiversity and wildlife. The country stands to lose much if we do not make the effort to care for all the gifts of nature. With dwindling numbers in a variety of wildlife species such as the African Elephant, Lions and Rhinos, it is the appropriate time to get involved in matters regarding conservation. Raising awareness is the first step to making sure that Kenya remains a paradise for both plant and animal life