10 Years of Lion Conservation: The Big Celebration

Nov 12, 2018 | Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Shivani is joined by County Official Hon. Leshakwet and flanked by KWS Francis Irungu as she unveils Ewaso Lions’ Strategic Plan

Lined with lion jigsaw murals, kanga steamers and Ewaso Lions Banners, the welcoming archway drew 400 guests into the our camp to celebrate the achievements of the decade. The lion population in our project area has tripled, and more community members than ever before are involved in the task of building coexistence between lions and people. There were so many reasons to celebrate on August 25th, and celebrate we did.

The day began with the blessing of Samburu elders sprinkling milk over the camp grounds, followed shortly by Mama Simba ladies whose songs rang out in the midday heat.

Mama Simba ladies practice the opening song on the deck

Culminating in Shivani’s moving tales, the speeches that followed pondered days long past, lions lost and challenging times, and how the team pulled together, grew and built the foundation for lion conservation in Samburu and Isiolo.  

Mparasaroi’s words of wisdom reminded people of why the Samburu culture was so vital to conserving wildlife.

Representing the Jeremy Lucas Education Fund, Junior stunned the crowds by reading a speech he worked on all by himself about how he is a conservationist today, touching everyone by narrating the story of how his favourite lion, Loiwotwa whom he had monitored, was killed. 

Junior, aged 14, shares his story with 400 guests

For the first time in any public setting, the L’chukuti, herding children who are never recognized at social gatherings, were given the stage. Lkasian, a young herding boy who has attended two of our Lion Kids Camps, stood up. His remarks showed wisdom well beyond his years. He spoke of the tangible benefits of lion conservation, allowing people to find work in the conservancies instead of living a tenuous life in the cities far away.

Lkasian, 15, shares his words of wisdom with the crowd

After Jeneria and Resson spoke of the Strategy for the next three years in the changing landscape of Samburu and Isiolo, it was time to hear from the guests.

Led by chief guest County Executive Committee Chair Hon. Leshakwet, the guests commended Ewaso Lions for its work and the spirit of collaboration between them, the Kenya Wildlife Service, Northern Rangelands Trust and other partners. He then led other guests in officially launching Ewaso Lions Strategic Plan. 

When all was said and done and guests had eaten a sumptuous meal, the warriors and the women decided that dances were in order. Having seen off most of the guests, Ewaso Lions danced away into the sunset, excited about their future as a team. Watch the 10 years celebration video here.

We send a special thanks to our friend and supporter Jillian Knox for her incredible photos which captured the essence of the day so well. 

Guests enjoy speeches as Stephen our MC took the stage

One Person has left comments on this post

» Lee Burnett said: { Nov 19, 2018 - 01:11:55 }

Dear Shivani and the team,

What an incredible achievement. Heartfelt congratulations – I am in awe of you, Lee