Newly repaired fence on Ol Pejeta
An Update on the Drought:
Ol Pejeta and northern Kenya are currently experiencing the country's worst drought on record, with less rain in the March-April-May 2022 rainy season than the country has seen in over 70 years (European Commission, 2022). Rainfall on Ol Pejeta has fluctuated over the last few months, with slightly lower than expected levels in June and July, and comparatively more rain in September than is normally expected. This managed to fill two dams on the Conservancy, however it has not been sufficient to keep rivers flowing. In the month of October, which is usually the start of the rainy season in Kenya, the amount of rainfall recorded fell by 97% from an average of 200mm to just 6mm.
How Your Donations Have Helped:
Over the last few months, your donations have helped the team to respond to incidences of Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC), repair fence breakages and continue supplementary feeding vulnerable wildlife populations as they continue to mitigate the impact of the drought.
Ol Pejeta's rangers are the first to respond to any incident of Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC). As competition for food and water increases due to failed rains, the wildlife turns their attention to the farming communities outside the Conservancy. Crop raiding, trampled farmlands, cattle predation and more all have a disastrous impact on the communities livelihoods. Since July, the PAC responded to and handled all 32 incidents of reported Human-Wildlife Conflict, covering a total distance of 1,116km. Thank you so much for helping our team remain operational and react quickly to mitigate the impact of those incidences.
In their attempt to crop raid the agricultural lands outside of the Conservancy, the 120km fence surrounding Ol Pejeta is subjected to considerable damage from the wildlife (mainly elephants). Since July, the Radio Room have compiled 244 fence reports, of which 98 were confirmed as significant breakages from wildlife attempting to get in and out of the Conservancy. The remaining reports were thankfully not significant breakages. It costs $105,000 a year to maintain the fences, and with your support in recent months, the Ol Pejeta team have successfully continued to address the issues and repair the fences.
The two northern white rhinos, a small population of Grevy's zebra and Oryx, and one black rhino are protected within special enclosures (~700acre in size) because they are either vulnerable and/or endangered. As a result of the drought, the vegetation cover in these areas of the Conservancy has reduced significantly, and is not enough to sustain these herbivores. However Ol Pejeta has been able to continue providing these species with supplementary feeding (mostly hay), which helps ensure they receive enough food each day. Thank you so much for supporting our efforts.
The team are predicting average rains in the coming months, whilst not sufficient, it will provide some respite. To monitor this situation, the Ol Pejeta team oversee 10 rainfall stations across the landscape, tracking levels of rain and establishing trends. The information is utilized to inform decisions around land-use, agriculture, water management, and more. In addition, the data will help the team model for the future and implement strategic interventions that mitigate the impact of climate change, enhance the resilience of local communities and support wildlife. As we hope for a wet rainy season Ol Pejeta commits to continue to respond effectively to HWC, repair damaged fences, and supplementary feed the vulnerable species that need our help.
Thank you for standing with Ol Pejeta and supporting us in our efforts to conserve and protect wildlife.
Offloading hay to feed the northern white rhinos
Community members accessing water on Ol Pejeta