In 1994/1995 the Il Ngwesi community set aside 80% of their land for wildlife conservation and to be used by the community only in drought periods.
From 1994, the community began to manage the land through by-laws which were made and ratified by members to ensure that livestock from the community have enough pasture during dry seasons. Reseeding geared towards improving pasture was carried out in some parts of the conservation area where bare lands existed.
In 2007 a new land management approach was initiated by the community courtesy of LWF.This new initiative was based on Holistic Land Management principles. Awareness around Holistic Range Land Management was created in all the neighbourhood which has enabled the community to improve its grass bank over the years and heal 75% of bare land that existed in the conservation area.
At the start of the project, very few wildlife species existed in Il Ngwesi. In 2001 a baby black rhino (Omni) was introduced to il Ngwesi followed by two white rhinos in 2004 . For the last 18 years , wildlife numbers in the conservation area have increased tremendously both in numbers and species. The community over the years have created a lot of awareness on the importance of wildlife protection and conservation as not only tourism attraction but also a source to improve their livelihoods. The conservancy has highly trained rangers who man and patrol the conservancy on a daily bases, the rangers have been trained on data collection methodologies relating to wildlife species and conflicts. In 2013, the community lost their only black rhino to poachers, this was a big blow to the community’s wildlife conservation efforts. The community is undeterred and will do everything possible to continue managing their precious land and all its resources.
Pictured: White Rhinos at a distance in the Sanctuary