Project LocationMarsabit, Kenya
Project TypeWildlife and habitat conservation, Community conservation initiatives, Endangered species protection, Environmental education, Water resource management, Rural schools development
Endangered SpeciesAfrican Elephant African Lion Black Rhino Leopard Grevy's Zebra
Land Area Protected5810 km2
Benefiting Locally45

Marsabit, a region in northern Kenya, is home to a wide array of wildlife including elephant, rhino, lion and Grevy’s zebra. In the middle of the county, Mount Marsabit, an extinct volcano, and three crater lakes emerge like an oasis in the desert. The mountain acts as an important natural water tower for the region and critical habitat for wildlife.

However, the habitats and many of the species found there are under threat from human population growth and encroachment. Increased human activity, competition for scarce freshwater and pasture, and blocking of important migratory routes for wildlife has increased the level of human-wildlife conflict.

Most of the population lives in extreme poverty and is dependent on grazing livestock and natural resources for their survival. Marsabit has the lowest literacy rates in Kenya. The majority of schools are not easily accessed and lack basic infrastructure, such as classrooms and toilets.

In 2013, the Northern Rangelands Trust established three community conservancies in Marsabit – Songa, Jaldesa and Shurr. These conservancies form a crescent around Mount Marsabit, acting as an important buffer zone for wildlife.

The Marsabit Project is providing direct support to conservation and education initiatives for local people living in the conservancies. Rangers are recruited from the communities who are responsible for monitoring wildlife and engaging with the community in conservation awareness and natural resource management. The project is also making vital improvements to schools in each conservancy to provide greater opportunities for the next generation. The hope is that that when benefits are tangible through education, then the community will support future conservation efforts.

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