The community improvement teams at Wildlife Works are on a roll! Recently, we celebrated the grand opening of the Mwatate Secondary School funded by carbon credits as part of Wildlife Works’ brand of REDD, but we didn’t stop there! Wildlife Works is happy to announce the completion of the Mwemba Primary School building. The goal for the new Mwemba school, which is currently comprised of a preschool class, a staffroom and a toilet, is to eventually add 10 more classrooms, a library, an electricity connection and a kitchen among other utilities. Fortunately, several stakeholders were present during the official school opening and have promised to continue the progress that Wildlife Works has started.
Schools are needed more than ever in the ranches and villages surrounding our project area in Southeast Kenya. Children as young as six years old walk up to eight kilometers to attend classes in the village of Shighadi ya Mwemba. The journey is long, tiring and wrought with dangerous wild animals. More than one pupil has missed school due to the long journey and the fear of wild animals has only heightened the human-wildlife conflict in the region. In 2010, town elders and administrative officials proposed building a school in Mwemba. They approached several potential donors and attempted to raise funds but could not meet the strict requirements, which include raising 10% of the total cost before beginning construction. The arrival of Wildlife Works and REDD+ in the villages of Mwatate and Mwachabo in 2011 provided a real boost to the community. In addition to providing funding for projects via sales of carbon credits, the presence of Wildlife Works has encouraged residents to plant trees and be more mindful of conservation and sustainable living techniques.
The new Mwemba Primary School is just one of the education-targeted projects that the community has been able to undertake. Wildlife Works is also currently working on constructing a classroom in the Mngama Primary School, and building a new Ngangu water chamber.
We at Wildlife Works are so proud to be a part of the celebration and we are thrilled to see communities directly benefitting from environmental conservation, not only in the short-term but also over generations to come.