EASTCO established a community-based conservation area in partnership with the seven Masai communities on the Tarangire side in Monduli, which has been running for the past 18 years. EASTCO and its ongoing project protect wet season elephant dispersal areas outside the park, provide the local Masai communities the opportunity to be able to continue their traditional lifestyle and to establish a sustainable community conservation project.
Part of the land given out in 1988 was 2,000 to the King family, which was the site of the current Boundary Hill Lodge. In 1993, while at a friend’s farm in Lolkisale, we thought of the idea of establishing a Community Based Conservation Area with the Boundary Hill site being the focus.
This came to fruition in 1995 when the Village of Lolkisale in partnership with the owners of Boundary Hill Lodge formed a partnership agreement and joint venture to stop the farming and close down the farms bordering Tarangire National park and return the land to grazing and wildlife. The Maasai had seen the widespread destruction of the forests, wildlife habitat and the decreasing numbers of wildlife.
Not to mention the changing rainfall. This was called the Tarangire Conservation Area. In 1995, EASTCO entered into agreements with Makuyuni and Msawkini villages to extend the Conservation Area to the west of the Lolkisale village area. It was also at this time we were asked by the Tarangire Elephant Project to incorporate an area to the north, known as the Makuyuni Elephant Dispersal Area. This was seen to be a critical area for the wet season migration area of the northern sub population of Tarangire Elephants.
“EASTCO works intimately with the local Maasai villagers to protect and manage their own resources to protect Africa’s wildlife, land and environment.”
EASTCO helped create a community based conservation area, which is now called “Wildlife Management Area”, is a partnership between EASTCO and the local Maasai villagers. This wildlife project gets a percentage of the income from Boundary Hill Lodge, Tarangire Treetops, Naitolia camps and client donations. The lodges help collect user fees from tourists. EASTCO hires the local Maasai warriors to be their guides, and to work at the lodges and camps. Over the last 20 years, EASTCO accomplishments include the building of Lolkisale police station, teachers’ houses at Lolkisale school, village offices, water dam, acquiring a village vehicle for the Lolkisale community.Other projects completed with the help of various donors include a water pump installed in Makuyuni River to supply water to Naitolia and Makuyuni villages, dispensary at Naitolia village, tractor for the Wildlife Management Area, water tank at Lemoti school, desks at Ol Tukai school, and numerous donations of school supplies.
Moira Lennox for EASTCO
Moira Lennox travelled great distances to document majestic beauty of country, the wildlife, its people, and incredible impact EASTCO is making in these communities. is planning to use the photos in a photo essay in a national Australian magazine publication to share their story of how community-based conservation can be successful. By sharing their story with the world they are hoping that their story can help others find a way to protect the wildlife and allow the local people to benefit from it and be a part of it.
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