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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The Tsavo West National Park is a section of one of the largest wildlife conservancies on the planet, as well as one of Kenya’s largest wildlife national parks. It is well-known for its resident population of Red Elephants as well as the tale of the Tsavo Man-eaters. Unfortunately, most of the communities bordering these parks have never had a chance to visit them due to the cost. For these reasons Amara organizes game drives with Purdue University students each year into Tsavo West National Park. We also encourage children to form Wildlife Clubs and embrace their wildlife and environment. This year Mrabenyi Secondary School in Taita Taveta County had the opportunity to tour the vast Park and interact with the University students from USA.
tHistorically, the Tsavo Area is renowned for the Man-eaters of Tsavo, two mane-less lions who developed a taste to prey on humans back in the early 1900’s (various reasons are cited for this, one recently being that they suffered from tooth decay and pain that made hunting difficult for them!). Although they were later shot, they killed many people that were constructing the railway line connecting Mombasa and Nairobi. Additionally, it was the main battlefield between the Germans and the Britons in Africa in the course of World War I. Currently the area is very peaceful and is now famous for its resident Red-colored Elephants, that enjoy dust-bathing in the red colored soil. The serene environment of Tsavo comes mainly with thorny bushland, open grasslands and among the most beautiful scenic areas are; the Yatta plateau, the World’s longest lava flow stretching 290km; Mzima springs; Shetani Lava Flow; Chaimu Hill; and Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary.