Nashulai Conservancy at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve has been ranked among the top best performers in the world by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The coveted Equator Prize award was virtually presented from The United Nations headquarters in New York during the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly held yesterday.
The ecstatic villagers who were following the big screen event at Oldarpoi camp later ecstatically broke into celebrations to welcome the prize which also comes with a Sh1 million as monetary price.
The conservancy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nelson Ole Ruya said the award means a lot for the community as the conservancy is among nine other indigenous communities selected for the top prize, out of 600 applicants in 120 countries.
While giving Glory to God, Ole Ruya believes that the conservancy has been in the front line of reducing wild-human conflicts as they have been educating the communities around them on how to avoid conflicts with animals.
“Wildlife cannot operate in isolation, we need people. The space the wildlife requires is with the community and we require to involve them so that they can appreciate the need to coexist peacefully with the wildlife,” said Ole Ruya.
He reiterated that the award is a big win to the community that live peacefully with the wild animals and have allowed their land to be set aside for the wildlife.
“Naishulai conservancy helps people manage nature for their own prosperity. This brings a win for nature, win for the communities, win for the whole world,” he added.
The conservancy Director Margaret Reiya said the conservancy has been in the front line in educating women on entrepreneurship programmes.
“We have assisted the women to produce liquid soap which apart from their bead work they sell at a profit. During this Covid-19 pandemic season, the soap has been in high demand,” said Ms Reiya.
Erick Ole Reson, a resident at Mara ward lauded the leadership of Nashulai adding that they have put conservancies in Kenya at the global map.
“If it were not for the community’s tolerance and sacrifice in living with the animals, this prize could not be possible. The conservancy has been promoting livelihood skills to the community that help them earn a living,” said Ole Reson.
By Ann Salaton