Kenya has seven sites inscribed in
UNESCO’s World Heritage listing. Of these four are classified as
‘Cultural’, namely Fort Jesus, Lamu Old Town, Sacred Mijikenda
Kaya Forests and Thimlich Ohinga Archealogical site.
The other three sites, Kenya Lake
system in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Turkana National Park and
Mount Kenya National Park are categorised as ‘Natural’ sites.
Of these sites the Lake Turkana
National Park has been identified as ‘under threat’. At a UNESCO
committee meeting held in Bahrain last month the panel opined
that Lake Turkana will most likely be placed in the endangered
list due the negative and so far unmitigated impacts from the
construction of mega-projects in the vicinity; the Gibe III dam
in Ethiopia, sugar factories and the Lamu Port South
Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Project (Lapsset).
Lake Turkana, also known as the Jade
Sea, is a conservation hot spot. It is the largest desert lake
in the world and most saline in East Africa. It is of immense
It has fossil deposits and is believed
to be the site of mankind’s birth.
It is the source of livelihood for
some 300,000 people who live nearby.
Construction of the Gibe dam started
Already the water levels are receding
and there are fears they may reduce dramatically over the years
with disastrous effect on the environment. Of equal concern is
the impact of the Lapsset project.
At an estimated cost of Sh. 2.5
trillion it proposes oil pipelines, highways, railway lines,
airports and resort cities.
While the UNESCO’s listing of Lake
Turkana in the endangered list will no doubt generate funding
for carrying out much needed detailed environmental assessments
for all the proposed projects, experts believe that it is
unlikely to save Lake Turkana.
Mombasa is going white and blue! The
recently introduced colour code that all buildings are required
to comply with is being implemented with gusto.
Even buildings within the Old Town
Conservation area, a gazetted monument, are being re-painted.
Mombasa, one of the oldest
metropolises, has buildings with distinct architectural styles
but these are now being hazed with a regimented colour scheme.
Every building has its individuality
that is expressed through its style and colour.
Whether a monochromatic Mombasa will
be more attractive and boost tourism remains to be seen.
However, what Mombasa residents and
visitors would like to see is a cleaner city free of flooding,
better roads, etc.
Fatima Lobo our longstanding treasurer
of more than 10 years is leaving Kenya this month to return to
her homeland, Goa.
Fatima’s contribution to FFJ has been
She has managed our accounts
meticulously, liaised with auditors and tax authorities, all
with great efficiency. She has been very supportive and
participated in all our activities.
Thank you, Fatima! Our best wishes to
you and Oscar as you return to India.
We look forward to seeing you in
Mombasa when you visit. We are very grateful to Selina Uballa
and Neelam Shah for taking over Fatima’s role.
Selina will handle the petty cash and
memberships and Neelam who is an ex-council member and
accountant by profession will be the treasurer.
After a lull over Ramadan we have a
busy month ahead. Our regular events, tree planting and heritage
visit are delayed and we have had to squeeze both programmes in
July before the schools close.
Thanks to several members for their
donations for these events in cash and kind. (Taibali Hamzali,
Saturday, 19th May - Bird Walk at Forest Trail
We set out with a slight delay due to
traffic manenos, which might as well have helped in getting to
some spots at the right time!
At the Forest Trails one has to earn
ones stripes by listening to bird calls and looking
keenly at dense shrubs and sedges for any movement.
We heard Black-throated Wattle-eye,
Tambourine Dove and got a glimpse of an African
Paradise Flycatcher with its long white tail.
From high up in a Casuarina Tree a
young Verreaux Eagle Owl checked us out from a nest,
which had been a nursery to another young VEO a year
Village Weavers were busily building
nests and displaying to a few females and while
watching this activity and scanning the nests with
our binos we “discovered” to our amazement a
beautiful Giant Kingfisher perched even closer to
us!! What an exciting moment this was!
It took us about 2hours to complete a
loop and record 10 precious species of our feathered
PHOTO: DORIS SCHAULE
Tuesday, 26th - ‘Colubus Conservation’: Talk
by Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin, conservation manager at
the Colobus Conservation, gave a very succinct presentation
on how and why the trust came into being and the work they
do to conserve the Colobus monkeys.
Colobus Conservation was set up 20
years ago by a group of Diani residents who were appalled at
the number of monkeys dying from vehicle accidents as they
tried to cross roads.
One of the first projects was to erect
‘colobridges’ (they are like ladders, made from metal roads
and pvc conduits) which are stretched across trees and help
the monkeys traverse roads safely.
The impact was impressive with a
noticeable drop in road accidents.
Since then the center has grown
considerably. It is now a research base used by local and
overseas students, has a clinic, rehabilitation facilities
for distressed monkeys and an information centre.
The Centre’s activities are funded
exclusively from private donations.
One of the major threats to the
survival of the colobus is poaching.
They are hunted for game meat or sold
as domestic pets.
Others die from electrocution from
un-insulated power cables but this problem is being
mitigated by trimming trees near power lines and the use of
insulated power cables.
Tree planting to replace lost habitat,
education and creating awareness within the resident
communities, especially school children, are part of their
Our thanks to Kelly for an excellent
presentation and for patiently answering the endless
questions put to her.
This was a very informative and
inspiring talk. Thanks too to the many members who braved
the wet weather.
Saturday, 30th June - Visit to Colubus
Our group of a dozen was warmly
received by Esther in a well laid out information area
adorned with beautifully painted murals and a mock ‘colobridge’.
After a brief resume of the activities
we proceeded to tour the grounds where we saw the
rehab facility that had three young residents, all
orphaned. We saw only one, Whitecap, who came out of
his shelter to munch on some leaves.
A cheerful character, he lost one arm
(and his mother) to electrocution. However his
disability did not deter him from swinging merrily
from one perch to next.
Generally, upon recovery all the
monkeys are released to the wild as a single group.
Access to the clinic where the monkeys are treated
was not possible as they had a quarantine patient.
The forest walk was brief. We saw some
They are used to teach children how to identify
them. Snare removal from forests is a regular
activity with schools.
The colourful information centre.
PHOTO: DORIS SCHAULE
Lunch was at Africachild, a rescue
centre for young single mothers. Set up by a German
philanthropist the centre not only provides shelter but also
teaches the women income generating skills such as
tailoring, cooking and hairdressing.
The centre is very efficiently managed
by Ms. Salama and her small team. Funding is challenging as
it is solely from private donations.
There was a boost from our member
Aslam Kasmani who was so inspired with the good work he
We ended the day with a delicious
afternoon tea graciously served by Eileen while James gave
us an update on the preparations for a grand celebration of
the WW commemoration in Taita in late November 2018.
If there is enough interest FFJ will
arrange a trip. We will circulate more details once the
programme is finalised.
Saturday, 7th July -Tree planting at Gedi
Our annual tree planting in
collaboration with the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya will be at
Gedi Secondary, one of the schools that participated in a
last heritage visit.
Our aim is to plant about 1,000
seedlings. Tree plantings with WCK have been very enjoyable
where students, teachers and parent come together for the
We welcome all our members to attend
and also for any donations that will help towards the
purchase of seedlings.
Meeting point is at the school at
10.00am. To get there follow the road to Gedi Ruins, Gedi
Secondary is clearly sign posted and is before the Gedi
We will arrange for shared transport
if there are enough members.
If you are interested in joining
please confirm with Kalim Hassanali,
email@example.com or by SMS 0735 209 814.
Saturday, 14th July - Heritage Visit: Schools
for Gede area
The four schools for this visit are
from the Gede area (near to Malindi) are Canon Mwer, Jimba
Gede, Francis Bob Tuva and M’baraka Chembe Secondary
The students will arrive around 9 a.m.
They will be served breakfast followed by a guided tour of
the Old Town and the Butterfly House. After lunch Hassan
Mohamed will give a tour of the Fort.
The programme will end at about
Many children from less wealthy
schools in outlying areas have never been to Fort Jesus or
the Old Town.
These biannual visits, now in the 10th
year, give the children an opportunity to see their heritage
and help to educate them for the need for its conservation.
If any member wishes to join us please
contact Taibali Hamzali by latest Wednesday, 11th
July. If you want breakfast and lunch, the charge will be
Shs 600 per person, money to be paid in advance to the Mpesa
If any member would like to donate
towards this event please send by Mpesa: #0715565619 – Doris
Saturday, 21st July - Bird Walk at Haller
This month’s walk is at Haller Park.
The meeting point is at the ticket office at 3.00pm. Please
note there is a small entry fee.
For more information see our Facebook
page or contact Doris Schaule Tel: 0722 277752. Email: