By Eric Kihiu
Makalia Falls, Easter 2011
The Makalia River rises in the Mau, and is a key source of water for Lake Nakuru. Presently, the river has dried up and no water flows. The Makalia Falls in Lake Nakuru National Park is, usually, a scenic site where the roar of rushing water provides accompaniment to birdsong and the occasional impala grunt or baboon bark. It is now eerily quiet, and provokes the question: just how much damage has been done to the Mau ecosystem to occasion the drying up of once perennial rivers?
Makalia River - riverbed exposed
Greensteds Staff and pupils receive posters from Rhino Ark
Greensteds International School, based in Nakuru, is the most recent recipient of educational posters and brochures about the Eastern Mountain Bongo antelope. The materials were donated by Rhino Ark in recognition of Greensteds’ interest in supporting the conservation of Eburu Forest. Mt. Eburu is part of the Mau mountain range and, in the words of teacher Nick Martyn, “is in our own backyard”.
Greensteds are supporters of Rhino Ark, and they sponsored a Control in the 2010 Rhino Charge event. On 26th February 2011, students and staff of Greensteds held a successful relay run from Narok to Nakuru via the Mau to raise funds for sponsorship of a Control in the upcoming 2011 Rhino Charge.
The bongo posters and brochures were developed by Rhino Ark as educational tools under the Schools Wildlife Clubs component of the Bongo Surveillance Programme. They will help to educate Greensteds students about the critically endangered mountain bongo. Globally, there are less than 100 bongo believed to exist in the wild, and they are only found in Kenya. A small, highly threatened population of 7-12 animals has recently been observed in Eburu Forest, and this herd is believed to be the only one left there.
The poster and brochure donation marks the start of a more direct engagement in Rhino Ark’s conservation activities by the Greensteds community. The posters were presented by Rhino Ark Resource Development Manager Eric Kihiu, accompanied by Bongo Surveillance Programme Schools Wildlife Clubs coordinator, Peter Munene.