For the next year we are focusing on the following long-term projects:
Furnishing and helping to maintain several local hospitals.
At each hospital we will focus primarily on the health of the children and women. Gradually this will be extended to multiple disciplines. Hospitals and health centers are entirely staffed by Kenyans and in a few places manned temporarily by Dutch volunteers.
Improving several schools in the Taita area.
Education is so very important, and therefore it is one of our top priorities. We will be improving the accommodations and also giving them materials they need to carry out their studies. In cooperation with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) we will also be helping with environmental education for the students.
Setting up a Community Environmental Education Program, in cooperation with KWS
If people don’t know what the impact of their actions are, it is difficult to blame them when things are done incorrectly. Thus, with KWS, we will be busy setting up a “Community Environmental Education Program. We will be making a list of schools in the area, attending meetings and organizing large groups to make people aware of what their responsibilities’ are to improve their environment and co-exist with wildlife.
Creating a hygiene education program in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.
Many diseases can be prevented by using good hygiene. For example, people must learn the importance of washing their hands after using the bathrooms. This is common knowledge in the West, but it is not a familiar concept in the African bush. With a few simply hygiene tips, illness and diseases can be prevented. This program will run in the primary schools.
Creating a dental project for the residents of the Tsavo Conservation Area.
In the past, African’s diet used to include maize (ugali), sometimes vegetables and water or tea. Now with the Western influence many have turned to sodas and other high-sugar content foods and drinks and dental caries (cavities) are prevalent and dental care is a must. In 2012 we will begin dental camps, especially for treating children and highlighting the importance to their health of having good dental care. This will include teaching them how to properly brush their teeth.
We will work with the local people to teach them about fuel-efficient stoves they use for cooking and warmth.
Logging and the charcoal business have already destroyed many trees in the area – causing many other problems. There are self-built ovens which can be used which use only 30% of the wood/charcoal current being used. We will be working with the local people to plant new trees and indeed, in 2012 we will be starting a tree nursery.
Developing humane eviction for wildlife in human-wildlife conflict.
We will work closely with Kenya Wildlife Service on this project. When wildlife (elephants) leave the parks in search of food and water they can in just a few hours destroy a farmer’s shamba/garden. This has profound implications for the local population. WLCI is working on a self-developed material that hopefully can be used to humanely chase elephants away from shambas when they are being raided. The results to date have been very encouraging.