Published in April 2019

Around the world, there is growing awareness of the perilous state of the natural world. Wildlife programmes such the BBC’s Blue Planet and Planet Earth have beamed images of the destruction of rainforests and the demise of coral reefs right into our living rooms. With their vivid images these programmes describe the lives of the smallest and the largest species. Elephants, rhinos and lions seem so close to our screens that we feel we can almost reach out and touch them. It’s impossible not to be moved by stories of the day to day survival of these animals.

April 22, 2019 is World Earth day. This is an annual event which asks the global community to focus on pressing environmental issues. You can see the theme of previous World Earth days here. This year World Earth Day’s focus is protecting our species, a theme which is very relevant to the work of Excellent Development. Climate change, habitat loss and unsustainable agriculture are just some of the forces which are endangering nature. And the impact of those forces is gathering pace.  The result is likely to be more and more species extinctions.

It is now thought that we are amidst the largest period of species extinction in the last 60 million years. Normally, between one and five species will go extinct annually. However, scientists estimate that we are now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal rate, with multiple extinctions daily.

At Excellent Development, we are doing what we can to help wildlife populations recover and thrive. I have written before about the work we are doing with Kenya Wildlife Service to look at the potential for sand dams in national parks to provide water for those animal species whose historic watering places have disappeared.

We also have a track record of working with the Lekurruki Conservation Trust (LCT) in the Northern Rangelands of Kenya.  This region supports 25% of Kenya’s wildlife, including globally significant populations of vulnerable and endangered mammals (such as African Elephant, Rothschild Giraffe and Grevy’s Zebra), living outside national reserves. With LCT we have supported the construction of 11 sand dams, benefiting thousands of people. Other beneficiaries include elephants, giraffes, and many other species of wildlife, and of course the pastoralists and their livestock in the region, that come to drink and collect water at the sand dams.

We want to do more. That’s why our strategy commits us to go on helping people and nature benefit from water to drink. Sharing water between people and the environment has never been more important.

Please donate what you can to help rural communities transform their own lives with sand dams and climate-smart farming, and ensure no one gets left behind

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