2020 AFEW Competition Essay Entry by Mr. MABONGA EUGENE LUKOA

 As you already know, Last year’s Environmental competition did not go as planned. However, some entries were sent to us either way. These articles are so good that we can not let them go unnoticed. 

One of them is from Mr. Mabonga Eugene. He sent us an essay with his thoughts on the question “Globalization has taken the world by storm and of late, there has been a shift of the balance of political and economic power from the west to the east. What does this mean for the African Continent biodiversity”. This question was posed to the tertiary level students.

Click on the 2020 Competition theme “Healthy Planet, Healthy Biodiversity, Healthy People” to read his thoughts.

2020 AFEW Competition Essay Entry by Ms. Shirley Kemuma Magabi

Happy new year to everyone. Annually, AFEW Kenya – Giraffe Centre hosts an Environmental competition for Kenyan students. This competition runs from January 1st to March 31st. Last year, 2020, we did host as usual. Unfortunately, we had to cancel due to unavoidable conditions.

We are grateful, however, for the students who were able to submit their entries for the same. So we will be posting them on our website.

The first article we are posting is by Ms. Shirley Kemuma Magabi

 Click on the 2020 Competition theme “Healthy Planet, Healthy Biodiversity, Healthy People” to read her thoughts.

Biodiversity Inventory at Giraffe Centre

Through the concept of citizen science, The Global Southern Bio-blitz takes biodiversity inventory in green spaces within cities annually, as a way of creating biodiversity awareness.

 In September 2020, Giraffe Centre Sanctuary was a candidate site sampled for inventory take among others in the Nairobi City. Here is the report as generated by the Global Southern Bio blitz team that took inventory at the Giraffe Centre Sanctuary.

Participants included university students and AFEW Kenya staff.

God willing, we hope to take inventory through this initiative and other internal programs to build the biodiversity database involving the general public.

 You may also see the website to find out more about them https://scistarter.org/great-southern-bioblitz

KELLY’S CALF NAME

Thanks to you, Kelly’s calf has a name. Kelly gave birth to a beautiful calf at the age of 19. She’s the second oldest Giraffe in our tower. With great help from each one of you, we gave her the name Mtwapa. Mtwapa is the Swahili name for the Sweet pea flower. Her birth is a testament to the resilience of nature and the Rothschild Giraffe to be specific. Thank you for the great support you have been according us through the years.
Giraffe Centre, Connecting you with nature.

We are open

Happy World Giraffe Day

The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife-Kenya was established in 1979 by Jock and Betty Leslie Melville as a breeding Centre for the endangered Rothschild Giraffes. We pride ourselves as one of the oldest giraffe conservation organization in the world. The organization’s story has been one of progressive giraffe conservation, and vibrant transformational conservation education programmes for the youth of Kenya.

Since the time the organization was established, the Rothschild’s giraffe population in Kenya has tremendously increased from 130 to slightly over 700 individuals in the wild.

Did you know giraffe populations have plummeted by 40% and that they are listed as Vulnerable to extinction on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List? This is mainly due to habitat degradation, climate change and poaching. Well, you and I can do something to avert this looming biodiversity crisis. Join us and let us give giraffes overriding attention and rescue them from this silent extinction. We can do this by caring for our environment and creating awareness about the importance of biodiversity conservation.

On Sunday 21st June, 2020, AFEW Kenya joins other partners in celebrating World Giraffe Day. The day is dedicated every year to celebrate and raise awareness about the world’s tallest mammal on the longest day and/or night of the year! (Depending on which hemisphere you are in).

Join us in celebrating these icons by sharing with us a one word description of a giraffe. Share this with us on our social media sites below and use the hashtag #ILOVEGIRAFFES and #WORLDGIRAFFEDAY2020.

Happy World Giraffe Day from all of us here!

 

Connect with us on:

Twitter: @GiraffeCenter

Instagram: @GiraffeCentre_

Facebook: African Fund For Endangered Wildlife (Kenya)-Giraffe Centre.

www.giraffecentre.org

 

#ILOVEGIRAFFES

#WORLDGIRAFFEDAY2020

 

#STANDTALLFORTHEGIRAFFES

Birding Experience

Hey Giraffe Community, this Saturday, 6th of June 2020, we will be hosting a birding event from 8:00am to 10:00am at our Nature Sanctuary at Karen, Hardy Area. You’ll get an exclusive guided walk in the Sanctuary, get to view, learn and exprerience Birding like never before. 

For you to participate, you’ll need to make a prior booking by registering here. This is to make sure that before, during and after the event, we keep the measures put forth by the Government of Kenya in Combating the Pandemic.

For any inquiry, email us on reservations@giraffecentre.org  See you then

Everything goes

One’s poison is another’s food. That thing that seems small, useless to you means the world to another. The psalmist in one of his psalms would note this as he explains how everything means something to someone. He’d give an example with the water streams and towers, how from the rocks to the leaves need water.

CEO Giving students seedlings

I experienced this phenomenon with a cypress tree. Before you get up in arms with a claim on deforestation, it fell on its own on my neighbor’s vegetation and the tree was his. It was interesting how each person who saw the tree would envision it.

A carpenter saw frames for their creative ideas, a brick entrepreneur saw firewood for drying bricks, so on and forth.

There is a group, however, that interested me. They were keen to check for the hollow part of the stem. Why? If you ask me, it seems like they are missing a full part of the donut. Who in their right mind would go for the space between a donut. These guys would and they did.

One of the guys, just by knocking on one side of the cut trunk and knew it had honey in plenty. Apparently, in the olden days, that honey was the medicine for cold and flu. These guys didn’t just come here to look for materials for income, also for health from the cypress tree.

The only way these guys would have known this secret is if they were taught by their society members. By this simple secret, they have made a habit of growing trees with a sole purpose of honey where they’ll let them grow old, then fall on their own volition and hope for a bumper harvest of wood, sawdust, firewood and most important, honey.

Relationships

Mosquitos. Most of us honestly believe that these guys can be a nuisance. Especially if you live near a water body. They wait for you late at night, just when you are soothing sleep. You know, you have your nice, soft music on the background, several layers of blanket to warm you up. Just when sleep is sipping in, they cut through the ambiance with their buzzing. Just like that, you are awake, fighting in the dark.

Pelican landing at lake Naivasha

Imagining them not around gives many of us sweet sleep and memories. However, imagine life without fish delicacies, birds that fish for a meal. Just imagine the images and scenes that we’ll be missing out!

On the flip side, imagine if they are in excess with no eater. Yes, I feel it too. If anything is in excess, the ecosystem becomes unstable. That was the case for Lake Nakuru National Park

To contain the mosquito problem, Tilapia Grahami was introduced. They feed on the larva of  mosquitos among others. Whereas the reasons for this idea was a little selfish, the results were heartwarming to any conservationist, bird watcher, and lives. With the fish introduction and the mosquito favoring environment, came the raptor birds. You should witness these Raptor Birds fishing! Beauty to behold.

Picture this: A fish eagle, 500 metres above the lake surface of the lake, spots a tilapia, dives in at speeds of 350 km/hr catches with is claws and flys off with satisfaction as it wafts off the water off its wings. Safaris are made of this.

hamerkop flying away

With the fish, comes the African Fish Eagle who in turn, attracts another beauty called the Hamerkop. This bird builds its nest for up to six months, the nest can be as heavy as a packet of cement, 50 kilograms. It can have a whole range of materials on the nest, from leaves to sticks, from thorns to feathers. The other birds took note of this and decided that it’s alright to get their nest materials from the Hamerkop nest.

Hamerkop’s friendship with the African Fish Eagle is purely for food which is in favor of Hamerkop. Do you have a friend like that? The kind that in events, made sure that you are full before the rest? I have one. They have a special place in my heart.

Imagine that it’s just a sample of how the wild works. So does the world too.

Learn this and more on our Winners safari. To take part in one, just participate in our annual Environmetal Competition that is currently ongoing and stand a chance to win a Safari among goodies.

Tembea Kenya

Njaanuary…, I never understood what this meant. I thought that maybe it’s one of those ‘Kang Kaka‘ wonderful spoken word performances. Creative mind he is by the way. I came to fully understand it’s meaning when I moved out. You know how back in college we’d be like”When I get a job, I’ll save lots just to recuperate like a king come December” Well, I now understand why saying”I’ll save” and doing it are two very different scenarios. The former makes me look responsible, the later is work and sacrifice.

Animals at the Sweet waters

And so, for last year’s December, I made a decision not to make the usual ‘Exodus’ to my village in the heart of Kakamega County. Only to realize that the only major difference I made is to miss out on the raw, uncut, untethered nature that is green with rains every often

as from 1500hrs to 2000hrs. So natural is my home that the monkeys are unashamed of their chauvinism. One time a lady friend was chasing them off a Maize plantation, the disrespect they displayed Still haunt me 20 years on.

All that for what? Six liters of a common soft drink and a sweet tooth. Don’t judge me, that was my dream once upon a time! January came, at least I paid my rent and essentials. All else, the only difference I had from the travelers? Other than clean air, clear roads. It’s only in the December festive season that a passenger can negotiate the fare price to a level of making the travel business feel like a charity. But who is Karma?! It’s January, the travel business owners are hiking their prices to exorbitant levels. Come on business owners! It’s not like January is happening to the unfair customers only. Exercise some humanity.

Tertiary Trip

“Come all ye who are heavy laden..” But before I bust your bubble, this call is only for those who participated in the tertiary level of the 2019 AFEW Annual Environmental Competition. For they will have a trip around the

Nakuru – Naivasha circuit. Imagine the Geo-spa, a game drive, camping, among others in January. The fun part, all this is a reward for a job well done