An Environmental Education Bus
Project location: KENYA, Laikipia
Project start date: June 2003 - Project end date: August 2004
Project number: 2003-13
Beneficiary: Save the Rhino
The Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF) is an open-membership, community organisation that aims to conserve the integrity of the Laikipia ecosystem by creatively managing its natural resources to improve the livelihood of its people.
The Laikipia district in Kenya is vast - some 20,000 km2 - and is situated to the north-west of Mount Kenya. The ecosystem is home to the second largest population of elephant in Kenya (3,000) and hosts the highest populations of endangered species such as rhino (over half Kenya's total population), Grevy's zebra, and reticulated giraffe in the country, as well as the only viable population of Jackson's hartebeest and an expanding population of wild dog.
The LWF's environmental education programme recognises that the long-term sustainability of conservation efforts in Laikipia is inextricably linked to the environmental awareness of local schoolchildren. The LWF already links schools with environmental education projects across Laikipia, but has limited facilites.
Thanks to leadership gifts by the Nando Peretti Foundation, Chester Zoo and Save the Rhino International, and with additional support from other UK trusts and foundations, the LWF bought the education bus- a Mitsubishi truck (FE659, 3907 cc, 7 tons, 18ft body), purchased in July 2003 on the basis of the assessment of quotations from three separate supplies (Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi)
Delivery was taken in September 2003, and registration (KAR 309B), licensing and insurance arranged.
The Mitsubishi truck has since undergone the following modifications:
The bus was handed over to the LWF (Executive director and Community Liaison Officer - CLO Eastern Unit) by the Save the Rhino Chairman, Robert Devereux, at Ngare Ndare Primary School on 7th October 2003. This was followed by a first trip for a group of children from the Ngare Ndare Primary School into Borana Ranch to view wildlife.
The bus will enable schoolchildren and adults to access education centres and wildlife sanctuaries, as well as other wildlife clubs or conservation groups, attend public debates or lectures and to participate in annual environment days.