Flooding at Loisiijo

africanlatitude wrote this at 12:08 :

On the 7th May 2012 a huge amount of rain fell on the Shompole area and the high plateau water catchment area of the Mau Escarpment. The level of the Ewaso Ngiro River reached an unprecedented level and flooded most of the area. Villages had to evacuated in the middle of the night with Maasai people and their cattle fleeing to higher ground

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Loisiijo was not spared and we had water all the way up to shoulder high in parts of the lodge, destroying solar equipment worth several thousand dollars.

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Quite a set back for the Shompole Community.

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Canoes on the Ewaso Ngiro

africanlatitude wrote this at 10:48 :

Loisiijo now has 2 sea kayaks available for guests staying at the lodge.

These single kayaks (or one adult and child) are very sturdy and ideal to descend the river when the water is running high, which it has been recently. An ideal half day outing is to start the day early morning by joining the scientists studying the baboons, then canoe down the river from the bridge to the lodge. Depending of the current this could take one to 3 hours. It is fantastic fun, you will meet Masai herdsmen, women and kids collecting water and of course a lots of birds and monkeys.

The bigger game, like zebra, eland and giraffe come to drink in the afternoon, so one would be more likely to meet them on an evening trip.

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Total Access To Energy

africanlatitude wrote this at 16:58 :

Photographer Philippe Schaff, Maelle Bissonnet & Robinson Alazraki, Project Managers for Total, came to Loisiijo Lodge for a rest and a chance to take stock shots of their solar products.

Total (yes the green side of the oil company) is selling solar products through its outlets in Kenya aimed at the lower income earners of the population. These products are very well priced and provide good reliable lighting. Interestingly enough, I had purchased some for our staff sometime back without knowing I would meet the people responsible for importing them into the country.

They had some interesting new lights which will soon be on the market in Kenya. They were very kind to leave their samples at the lodge for our use. Very soon we will have a bungalow fully lit by Total Solar.

As you can see, it was not just work for the Total Crew.

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Bridging the Gap at Loisiijo

africanlatitude wrote this at 09:04 :

Harmon Parker, founder and Managing Director of the NGO “Bridging the Gap Africa”and engineer Kelley Rehm came to survey the river at Loisiijo.

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Harmon has built over 50 bridges in Kenya for marginalised groups and communities who need safe crossings over dangerous rivers, gullies and ravines.

Bridging the Gap Africa Website

“Bridging the Gap Africa” is planning to help the Shompole Group Ranch Community and Loisiijo Lodge build a bridge close to Loisiijo. When the river is high, it will allow safe passage and facilitate also game viewing in the wildlife sanctuary for the lodge guests.

The project will be financed by three partners: Bridging the Gap, Community Camps and the Shompole Community.

Bridging the Gap was selected last year as one of the 10 finalists for the “CNN Heroes Award - Watch the video”.

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The Ewaso Ngiro River: Shompole’s life line

africanlatitude wrote this at 14:18 :

At Loisiijo, the river is omnipresent, we watch it going up, and going down. We fear the power of its floods as much as we fear the small trickle it becomes.

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Here is a great little film about the Uaso Ngiro and the changes it has seen in the last decades due to the increase in deforestation of its main source, the Mau Escarpment Forest.

The bridge that the film refers to is 10 km away from Loisiijo Lodge. We are looking to raise funds for building two small foot bridges near Loisiijo. One for the lodge which will enable us to park vehicles on the opposite side of the river. This will greatly facilitate the access to Shompole Wildlife Conservation Area where most of the big game are to be found. Its boundary is only two kilometers away from the lodge.

The second bridge will be located a couple of kilometers away down stream where some of the dry season villages are situated.  Crossing the river in the past was not an issue but now with rain  patterns on the Mau Escarpment being very irregular, flooding occurs at unexpected times and can leave the local people stranded  on the wrong side of the river.

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