Yiasim ee Ngilai


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In 2021, Legado began partnering with the Northern Rangelands Trust to bring our legacy approach to communities in northern Kenya. The goal is to use our model to jumpstart community collaboration and action to create a path toward Thriving Futures™. We began our work together in the Namunyak Conservancy—home to the Samburu, an indigenous, semi-nomadic tribe, as well as to the Mathews Range, a biodiverse sky island and one of the region's last remaining tracts of forest. Namunyak’s expansive rangelands are critical to the Samburu’s pastoralist way of life and the forest provides essential ecological services to its 32,000 residents and tens of thousands more people in the surrounding landscape. Namunyak is also home to some of East Africa’s most iconic wildlife.

This partnership began with communities living in the Ngilai unit within the Namunyak Conservancy. They named this collaborative initiative with Legado “Yiasim ee Ngilai”, which translates from Samburu to “Legacy for Ngilai”.

Samburu communities residing in the Ngilai unit have identified the priorities below. Promoting gender equity was also considered a fundamental underpinning to all of their priorities.

Community priorities set by Yiasim ee Ngilai:

  • Health Care
    We want to increase access to health care, respecting and integrating our culture of Samburu medicine. We want to increase the range of services to treat injuries, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities at the village level to have a healthy community.
  • Education
    We want our children to become good elders and leaders in our community. We
    want to improve our community’s schools and grow support from parents, community leaders and education administrators to make it possible for our children to enroll and stay in school.
    For our children who stay at home, we want to make sure they learn about our livelihoods, systems of governance, and values of respect and unity in our communities.
  • Rangelands and Livelihoods
    We want to diversify our livelihood activities, maintain the areas where we have healthy forests, recover degraded forest and soils, maintain water sources, and improve our grazing patterns to adapt to the challenges of increased drought to continue thriving as pastoralist communities.
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During Legado's workshops on legacy, community members from Namunyak’s Ngilai unit designed this crest to symbolize their community's legacy. For an explanation of each element in the crest, see here.
Legado’s collaboration with the Namunyak Conservancy will play a key role as a pilot program which could then be scaled to other conservancies in Northern Kenya.
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Photo by Vivian Jebet NRT
More about NRT: NRT is a membership organization owned and led by the 39 community conservancies it serves in northern and coastal Kenya. NRT was established in 2004 as a shared resource to help build and develop community conservancies, which are best positioned to enhance people’s lives, build peace, and conserve the natural environment. NRT is tasked by community leaders to support indigenous communities in their own objectives to cooperatively develop locally-led governance structures that complement traditional, indigenous systems, run peace and security programmes, take the lead in natural environment management, and manage sustainable businesses linked to conservation. The Namunyak Community Conservancy group is part of NRT and includes Ngilai, Kalepo and Nalowuon community conservancies.

ABOUT NAMUNYAK

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POPULATION:
32,000 People

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SIZE:
385,000 ha of savannah and forest

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MAJOR LIVELIHOODS:
pastoralism and tourism

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ICONIC WILDLIFE:
African wild dogs, reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebras, elephants

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CONSERVATION VALUE:
Location of Mathews Range—northern Kenya's largest remaining tract of forest

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Legado:Namunyak is a joint program of

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