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Ol Pejeta's Story

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Environment

Environment
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Ol Pejeta's Story

Environment

Environment

Since the establishment of Sweetwaters in 1988, Ol Pejeta Conservancy (OPC) has grown from its original 24,700 acres to over 90,000 acres, supporting the livelihood of 18 communities comprising more than 23,000 people.

Ol Pejeta's Story

OPC is the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees in a sanctuary established to rehabilitate animals rescued from black markets.

To OPC, conservation is equally as important as the community living outside of the Conservancy, which covers an area equal to that of the conservancy itself, to ensure that the benefits of wildlife conservation are translated into better education, healthcare and infrastructure for them.

OPC supports six health centres and provides health care access to 20,000 rural community members. Its own dispensary attends to the medical needs of 450 community members every month and this is backed up by a mobile clinic visiting more remote locations. It is also helping farmers develop rainwater harvesting and has over 100,000 indigenous tree seedlings sown in 12 nurseries for catchment rehabilitation. It works with local schools, supplying water, solar power, buildings, and ICT equipment. It also supplies cook stoves and solar devices to households. Overall, it has committed to invest $6.5m into community development over the next six years as it bids to reduce human wildlife conflict incidents by 10% each year.

 

To date more than $8.7 million have been invested into community programmes related to education, water, agribusinesses, health, energy and HWC projects.

Based on strong ethical values of guardianship, innovation and authenticity, the OPC mission clearly indicates that priority will always be given to their community goals and conservation efforts.

Complementary business enterprises and income generating activities (e.g. tourism and agriculture/livestock) are pursued to fund its day-to-day operation and pay for its 647 members of staff.

Guided by sound scientific research and understanding, ecological monitoring is used to track and document population trends and ecological changes, effectively informing its conservation and land use activities.

Similarly, regular socio-economic surveys, needs assessments and strong community relations are used as the basis for the development of OPC’s community work and programmes, while regular monitoring assesses the impacts and effectiveness of its activities with the community.

To date more than $8.7 million have been invested into community programmes related to education, water, agribusinesses, health, energy and HWC projects.

OPC is also highly respected in Laikipia County, where the Conservancy is located. Over the last 25 years, it has developed a unique and leading business model for modern conservancies with its innovative land use and conservation management practices, which serves as an inspiration for many other ranches within Laikipia, Kenya and beyond (e.g. Tanzania and Ethiopia).

Through its very active involvement, openness and engagement (e.g. Laikipia Wildlife Fund, Kenya Tourism Authority, and others), OPC plays an important role in the wider community and works collaboratively with key public and private stakeholders in the region and beyond to address key issues of the area, including: community wellbeing, conservation, education, water, wildlife conservation, and range-land management.