Our boots are always on the ground, and our eyes always on the horizon, but today we’re specifically looking for rain. As I write this, the land is parched. Dust fills the air and coats every surface.
What a difference a year makes. By this time last year, we’d already seen more than 300 mm of water (more than a foot), flooding the ecosystem, which came with a different set of challenges the dryness is now causing. Water tanks have been damaged. We’ve had to repair three boreholes damaged by elephants looking for water. To mitigate conflict between wildlife and the community, we’ve provided 1,201 litres of fuel for pumping water. At the end of the day, there needs to be some water left in the tanks for whoever, or whatever, needs a drink.
Normally we see an increase in crop-raiding and bushmeat poaching in the dry season but so far, the programs we’ve put in place are doing what they’re supposed to do: reduce incidents. Crop-raiding is on track with what we saw last year despite the lack of rain. Our fence project is extending and continuing to yield positive results.
Our intelligence work and network is also continuing to yield remarkable results. So far this year, 238 kg of ivory has been taken out of the illegal market thanks to close collaboration between Big Life’s network and the Kenya Wildlife Service. We’re continuing to grow this side of Big Life’s operations, which we’ll update you on more soon.
In the meantime, we pray for rain. It’s hard to reflect on the extreme fluctuations in weather and not see how human development has lead to the inconsistent weather patterns now complicating all of our lives, human and animal alike, around the world.
As always, thank you for your support.
Director of Operations, Big Life Kenya