Njoroke ole Mpere is the Vice Chairman of the Nairrabala Conservancy, speaking in his native language about why his community has decided to protect Nairrabala as a conservancy area to benefit both wildlife and his people as the landowners far into the future. Here’s the rest of our interview with him:
Q: What do you think of elephants?
Mpere: I have known elephants my whole life. I have seen them in happy times and also experienced the unfortunate times that arise with conflict. They are magnificent and I am always mesmerized by them.
Q: What do you think about sharing space with elephants and other wildlife?
Mpere: Despite the unfortunate incidences that arise from human-wildlife conflict, I believe that they have become good neighbors who have brought along benefits to us in our time of need.
Q: Have you seen the elephants with the very big tusks, the tuskers like Paolo? What do you think of them?
Mpere: I even saw a big tusker recently, while I was herding livestock. They are a masterpiece of God's work and the possibility that my kids might not see them in their natural state saddens my heart. That is why I work hard to see that wildlife is supported by my generation, for the sake of the future.
Q: How do you think land subdivision will impact the landscape and the Maasai?
Mpere: Everything has a good and a bad side. It's worse for those that sell land to other people, but people like us who have leased our land will get benefits for many years.
Q: What do you think could happen to the Nairrabala corridor, without the lease program?
Mpere: Without the corridor, the land would fall to individual persons' decision. The area of Nairrabala is rich with water and good farming soil, tempting people to fence their farms and develop. But this would affect our grazing areas and wildlife movements, especially for elephants and lions who love the area. We would lose the beautiful, serene land that I grew up knowing, and my children will never get to experience nature.
Mpere shares his home with elephants like Paolo. Leasing areas like the Nairrabala corridor will help them both - it’s the ultimate win-win. Help us secure this area with a donation today.