The Ol Lentille Trust supports conservation, education, healthcare and enterprise development in an area of Laikipia North and Isiolo Districts, Kenya. The charity is based at The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille on Kijabe Group Ranch, within a Maasai community. It funds community healthcare programmes and supports local schools, through community-based conservation programmes and a leading edge model of eco-tourism and enterprise.
The Balancing Act
Balancing the three-legged stool of Conservation, Economic Development, and Community Development is an enormous challenge. Increased wealth in pastoralist communities can lead to more livestock, and increased grazing pressure on fragile semi-arid lands. This leads to environmental degradation and the flight of wildlife. In turn, such degraded land is useless for tourism, which is one of few routes open to these communities for economic development.
Here, the community owns the fixed assets of the tourism business, as well as earning an income from it. Here, the community has designated livestock quotas, rotational grazing areas, and separate settlement areas – resulting in good wildlife populations in non-protected areas, and bigger stronger livestock able to better withstand perennial drought. Here, the community has invited, and entered into a contract with, Regenesis to manage its tourism business and its Conservancy for the long term. Thus, as well as investing its income in livestock, the community here is investing in education, healthcare, and animal husbandry, as well as new businesses, tourism development and conservation.