Environmental education and Eco-Literacy Programme
The long-term sustainability of conservation efforts in Laikipia is inextricably linked to the environmental awareness of local schoolchildren, the main benefactors of the Environmental education and Eco-Literacy Programme (EELP). The LWF hopes that by encouraging involvement through environmental education, the next generation of responsible, committed Kenyans will work for the sustained conservation of the Laikipia ecosystem. The great majority of Kenyan children have never seen wildlife in their natural environment, despite living in a country with rich wildlife resources and an economy that relies so heavily on wildlife tourism.
Thus LWF sees one of its key roles to raise awareness of environmental issues and provide environmental education services, which supplement but do not duplicate the National Curriculum, to schoolchildren in the Laikipia District.
The programme is lead by a dedicated EELP Manager, Sammy Njoroge, who is supported by an EELP Assistant, Jackson Njaria. They deliver innovative and fun lectures and field trips to approximately 3,200 schoolchildren and 250 teachers and adults each year from over 130 schools in the District. The programme covers an area of about 10,000 sq km of rural and remote Kenya using a 25-seat converted lorry, the now famous and very popular Environmental Education Bus. Many of Kenya’s community wildlife projects now use the Forum’s successful model.
Credit: Save the Rhino International
Since its launch in 2004, the EELP’s principle activities have been:
- The bus making trips to conservancies with both school groups and community groups
- The EEO teaching pupils, students and community groups on game drives
- The EEO together with the Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) attending festivals with environmental displays
The EEP has now been in place for eight years (launched January 2004), during which the education bus has made over 415 trips to conservancies to support their classroom learning and carried 12,976 adults and children, whilst raising awareness of the importance of environmental issues for their own, and the Ewaso ecosystem’s, health and wellbeing.