I have been putting off writing this post for a while now… We have had such an incredible season and so much hard work put in with no question as to just how much has been achieved towards helping communities, the environment and the wildlife within the areas that Camp Kenya operates. In less than two months our summer school teams have more or less completed 6 classroom blocks in two different schools (4 at Muhaka and 2 at Sasenyi): They have moved literally tonnes of soil to prevent further erosion at Ngonzini primary school and in doing so, leveled out the sports field:

Ngonzini Primary School

Sports Field levelled at Ngonzini

CK gappers have almost finished the new classroom and kitchen at Chanukeni Child Center: They have planted hundreds of trees and other useful plants like vetiver grass: Completed a Ranger’s post on Rukinga Ranch: And repaired a massive water tank that was no longer in use for the elephants of Tsavo:

Mwakaramba Water Tank

Mwakaramba Water Tank

This is not even half the story and yes, WOW! Hat tip to each and every indvidual who contributed to all these projects, to all the staff out there who worked relentlessly to ensure that everything ran as smooth as possible so that all this could be achieved, to all the masons and carpenters who worked so patiently alongside hundreds of Campers who for most of them had probably never mixed cement in their lives, let alone laid blocks for a building. So why would I possibly be putting off writing such a post? The picture above is the sum of all fears that every Kenyan has been waking up to for the last two years: We have dried up. Kenya is facing the worst environmental disaster in recorded history. Last week, the following article appeared in one of our leading national newspapers – The Standard:

Drought kills 3 people and 38 elephants

By Peter Orengo “Three people have died due to lack of food even as United Nations said 38 others have lost their lives in conflicts triggered by contests over food and water…But climate change has not affected humans only; 38 elephants in Laikipia and Samburu have died from severe malnutrition, prompting Kenya Wildlife Service to water and feed wildlife to keep them alive…” The author of this article has taken the easy route and just thrown in that catchphrase, ‘climate change’. I am more inclined to think that we have brought it on ourselves. For those of you who might be following Kenyan news, you wold probably have come across various headline articles about the Mau Forest Destruction. The Independent today has run an article entitled:

Watch out! Disaster looming for Kenya

Politicians cared little about the burning of East Africa’s largest forest ‰ÛÒ until the lights in Nairobi started going out. Daniel Howden reports “The largest forest in East Africa acts as a water tower for an otherwise arid land, feeding its lakes and rivers, regulating the climate and refreshing its underground acquifers. But an epic drought has plunged Kenya into an ecological crisis and its dried up rivers can no longer turn the blades of the hydro-electric turbines. Power rationing is switching off the lights in the capital Nairobi for days at a time.” The disaster is already present in Lake Nakuru, renowned for its spectacular flamingoes. The two rivers that feed the lake have dried up and the KWS is having to pump water from deep underground to keep the animals alive. Kenya’s vital tourist industry would buckle, he warns, as already the spectacle of the Great Wildebeest Migration has been ruined by the historically low levels of the Mara river. World-famous parks, like Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti would also be at risk. Conflict between humans and wildlife will rise, as “rivers no longer flow to pastoral areas.” And urban centres will not escape. Sondu Miriu, one of the country’s major hydro-electric stations that lies downstream from the Mau, is already running at one-tenth of capacity. (You can read the full article by clicking HERE) And it’s not just the papers that are reporting this. Everyday, I read comments from my friends in Nairobi screaming about the fact that there is no electricity yet again, shouting out about no water in the taps:

“No power no water no food… seems like the country’s closed for business!”

Yes, it’s bad and the cock has come home to roost in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi. And now they are worried. Environmentalists and human rights activists have been screaming day in , day out. Whether it is too late or not, we don’t know but time will tell. Many of you who came through Camp Muhaka knew we were having water problems as everyone had to have bucket baths. The water table in our wells has dropped so low that they just weren’t capable of pumping out enough water to keep everyone happily singing under a shower. And sincerely thank you for understanding. And more importantly, thank you sincerely for all the work you put in this summer. It is a drop in the ocean but like our friends in Camp Borneo say, ‰ÛÏa lot of littles make a big!‰Û So let’s keep doing what we do as responsible travelers and travel operators and just hope for the rains…