Human Activities Affecting the Environment

Human Activities Affecting the Environment

Our natural heritage is being threatened by human activities, forests are disappearing at an unprecedented rate, and lakes, rivers and water catchments are being polluted. Our landscapes are being disfigured through day-to-day human activities like quarrying, sand mining, and brick- making along rivers. Our efforts to protect what is left of the biological diversity in Kenya and especially in Tsavo and its environs have never been more urgently needed.

After felling of trees

After felling of trees

Amara Conservation is trying to protect and conserve indigenous plants and animals by educating entire communities about how the destruction of natural habitats is continuing to put into peril their very existence. In many areas we are left with derelict and degraded sites, which require replacement of lost elements of the original ecosystem.

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For example; the need for building materials from the rapid increase in population in urban areas, has contributed to the demand of housing that has come, especially with the construction of a new standard gauge railway through Tsavo, the people in these communities have turned to stone harvesting from the hills, creating paths while accessing the stones

 

Sand harvesting

Sand harvesting

Habitat restoration techniques and education must be employed to repair the damage caused by human actions. Amara Conservation has been visiting these communities and teaching them about the need to use resources wisely. As the destruction goes on, it not only affects those doing the quarrying or sand harvesting but also the communities and animals living downhill. Water flowing down the hill has rock particles with hazardous waste and is often contaminated, which may cause cholera, typhoid and other water-borne diseases for people living downstream.

Mound of garbage

Mound of garbage

We ask the communities to start doing little things at home like planting trees to avoid soil erosion; recycling; proper hazardous waste disposal; and general management of their land. These are things that will help make our waters safe and healthy not only for the people but also for our plants and animals.

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Together we can make a Difference

Together we can make a Difference

Happy New Year to you, and fabulous 2017 from all of us at Amara Conservation.

As I sat here this morning opening the mail, I came across this unsolicited donation. What a nice surprise that from seeing us in action 2 years ago this family member was moved enough to send us this donation from afar! I can’t tell you how much we all appreciate their help for our education work with communities in Tsavo.

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It was sent to us the end of December 2016 and reads:

“Dear Amara Conservation,
Enclosed is a donation from my family Foundation. While studying and working in Kenya and Tanzania in 2014 I saw firsthand the incredible conservation education you do in Tsavo. It is our hope that this donation may be helpful to you in all your incredible endeavours.”

One of our objectives here at Amara is to strive to prevent a world without elephants. We do this by disseminating knowledge to people and schools living close to the wild. We saw the significant need for people to know and value the wild as their own, and hence the need for education on wild and environment. We believe in the power of information.

We would like to thank the Alden Family for their support – it is the help of people from all over that keeps us going. Your support will help us reach many more people in the vast Tsavo Conservation Area who urgently need information on the importance of the wild.

Thank you! You have made a real difference in the lives of the people we serve.

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#TBT on Radio Tsavo

#TBT on Radio Tsavo

We just came across this mix of the programs we made during our radio training program with RadioActive UK. Have a listen!

Radio Tsavo is a community based Radio Station- an idea that Amara Conservation had when recognizing the communities in remote areas in Tsavo lack access to a lot of information.

Unlike other media types, such as newspapers, radio stations have the ability to become a reliable source of information in areas where information is scarce. People from all around the County can search the airwaves for reliable sources of information even when phone lines are cut and the Internet is blocked. Rural communities benefit from local radio stations that provide news about local issues in their own language that would otherwise not make national headlines.

Radio training-By Max

Radio training-By Max

We know that “Change is the end result of all true learning and the function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically” and by sharing knowledge, experiences between communities will bring distant communities with one another.

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Mbulia Elephant Fence to Secure Dry Season Habitat in the TCA

Mbulia Elephant Fence to Secure Dry Season Habitat in the TCA

Human-wildlife conflict is a complex issue that is rarely easy to solve. This is particularly true for Mbulia in Taita-Taveta County, Tsavo Kenya. Being, many incidents of human-elephant conflict are recorded every year, undermining food security and destroying the lives of many people as well as injuring and killing wildlife. Small subsistence farmers, who are vulnerable to elephant raids destroying crops and property, effectively devastating their livelihoods, inhabit the surrounding area.

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Mbulia is unique, being critical dry season elephant habitat in the Tsavo ecosystem and owned by a collection of more than 3,000 individuals, combined into a large ranch that can economically benefit from wildlife through tourism. However the risks from elephants to humans and humans poaching wildlife still remained. Amara and Mbulia’s approach was to fence the Conservancy, minimizing contact and consequent conflicts.

Through the generosity of individual donors and a successful grant application from US Fish and Wildlife African Elephant Conservation Fund, Amara was able to complete the 22.5 kms of elephant proof electric fence joining Mbulia to Tsavo West national park.

We are happy to report that the fence was completed in April 2016 and has already been successful reducing wildlife conflict between Tsavo West’s fauna and the neighboring communities, securing the communities livelihoods, allowing the next crop to ripen without getting destroyed by the park’s wildlife.


The problems in the greater Tsavo Conservation Area are compounded by a wide range of issues from poor land use planning, a history of poaching and current political challenges. Resolving these conflicts will take the combined efforts of the Amara team and the communities living in Tsavo with support of people dedicated to save Africa’s wildlife. Through our mutual will and commitment to our natural heritage, we are confident that Amara is on the right track paving the way to long-term solutions for conservation.

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The gardener – Elephant

The gardener – Elephant

Elephants play an important role in maintaining biodiversity. They can be best described as the “Architects of the savannah”and natures constant gardeners, moving great distances foraging which open up dense bush land creating grasslands for grazers. Their knocking over of trees creates microhabitats for smaller creatures like reptiles and insects, which in turn provides food for birds. Defecating up to 17 piles of poo per day provides food for beetles, other insects and birds, as well as providing potting soil for the many seeds that have passed through their system to germinate. Indeed, a myriad of forest species are totally dependent on elephants for their survival.

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Where elephants go, other species follow. Lose the elephants and we will lose so much more. As human settlement expands, we must set aside corridors between protected habitats to ensure the continued movement of elephants and other wildlife. Elephants will do much of the biodiversity work for us if we allow them to. But we must stop the slaughter of elephants, and provide the space and protect their habitats for them to get on with their good work.

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