Until now, Ewaso Lions has engaged warriors, elders, and children. When women from the area were keen to get involved in conservation, they approached us for conservation training and education. Now, Ewaso Lions is working with Samburu women in a number of ways through our new programme, Mama Simba – which means Mothers of Lions.
Samburu women have rarely been actively included in conservation activities in northern Kenya. Yet, they spend a significant amount of time in wildlife areas as their demanding lifestyle includes fetching water, collecting firewood, and looking after livestock at times, which means they often come in contact with wildlife. And because women remain in the villages for much of the time while warriors and elders are away, they deal with human-wildlife conflict firsthand when carnivores attack livestock inside villages at night.
> Visit our new Mama Simba page to read how women are engaging in conservation.
We work with women to reinforce their bomas (traditional livestock enclosures) with thornbush, which prevents hyenas and leopards from entering the bomas to prey on livestock. In addition, Ewaso Lions is currently testing new experimental predator deterrents at villages where livestock loss to carnivores is high.
We hold a weekly education class for women in Westgate Conservancy. The women are learning how to read and write.
Authentic Beaded Handicrafts
Samburu women are skilled at making bracelets, necklaces, and other traditional beadwork. We are working with a small group of women to make the first beaded lions to sell these to tourists who visit the area.
A Cleaner Samburu
Women buy items such as sugar and tea from local shops that always package items in plastic bags. These bags are often discarded carelessly and are hazardous for the wildlife, livestock, and small children living in Samburu. Ewaso Lions started a clean-up campaign in Westgate Conservancy. 212 women from four locations participated and collected litter in and around their villages. In exchange for the plastic bags that the women removed, Ewaso Lions provides each woman with a reusable tote bag for their shopping needs with the hope that this will reduce all plastic consumption in the future.
Conservation Training and Wildlife Safaris
Women in the area have never been trained in conservation issues. Ewaso Lions has begun to train women in lion ecology, different predator tracks, and the importance of conservation. Following the training, Ewaso Lions takes women on safari in Samburu National Reserve. These are usually the first game drives they have ever been on. On the first safari, they had a rare close elephant encounters – witnessing an elephant give birth!
> Want to help Samburu women by supporting Mama Simba? Please donate today!