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By Salad Tutana

Environmental conservation is a strong pillar that support other pillars which include social, cultural and political. The environmental conversations is a must for the survival of human race. The human race and indeed all other creatures have rights to the use of the environment, but that use must be sustainable. In the case of Isiolo, the Boran are well known environmentalists in nature. Then what is this Community Conservancies model of Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT)?

NRT is a proxy organization of Lewa Down to raise fund for conservation. Community conservancies are catchments areas for Lewa Down, enticed with small donor money inform of small bursaries, small projects and scout employments. Their intention is to regularize the land into small units of conservancies controlled by their proxies inform of Board members, scouts with guns(To intimidate) and grazing committees.

It’s entry violated community cohesion, divided the land into locations, gave power to conservancy board members against the spirit of Boranism, Communal land, rights to land, pastoralism and weakened the mandate of Borana Council of Elders (BCE) to manage the land on behalf of the community. it brought conflict among community members. The entry and era of conservancy escalated the intensity of conflicts among the warring communities with the highest number of death recorded in the last 4 years and so.

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Ian Craig is the sole beneficiary at his private farm (LEWA) where he concentrated a number of wild animals including over 200 Rhinos. Tourists jet in at his airstrip, so he earns a lot of money with private lodges. The work of milking wild animals is for modern hunters and gatherers (Read Lewa). So there is CUT-THROAT competition over land, and its resources between modern form of hunters and gatherers (Conservancies) VS Pastoralists.

Pastoralists turn pasture, water and vegetation into milk, meat, hides and skins….. God gifts to Human race.

Untouched population of wild animals will destroy the natural resources and in the long run end the livestock sector.

Does it make sense to turn all pastoralists to modern form of hunters and gathers and sing a song of milking dangerous animals like hyena, lion and leopard. The million dollar question is as to whether milking of these animals is enough for the whole population?

NRT will not win against the current scenarios, there is a lot of opposition from the community. They must navigate their way through a trusted dialogue with Boran Council of Elders, professionals and community at large.

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Salad Tutana is an Environmental Governance Specialist and current Chief Executive Officer for Agriculture, Isiolo County Government.

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About Whispers from the North

Whispers from the North is an online platform that appreciates the ecological, cultural and socio-economic diversities of Northern Kenya. We also acknowledge that the lives of the communities of northern Kenya has been shaped by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which have led to complex challenge that calls for a multifaceted approach.

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