No poaching incident has been reported around Lewa Conservancy for the last six years, Lewa Down Wildlife Conservancy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Watson, has said.
Watson said awareness by Lewa down Marathon and cooperation of the area communities have been able to get rid of poachers in the conservancy.
He said that apart from the Marathon benefiting the local communities, its efforts have seen an increase in wildlife population with over 200 rhino births at Lewa since year 2000.
The CEO called for support of such initiatives to conserve our wildlife and environment for future generations.
He said that apart from creating awareness, Lewa Marathon had impacted positively to the communities around it and has helped in a host of other projects aimed at empowering the local communities like construction of modern classes, dispensaries and provision of clean water.
“There is also the ‘Lewa Madukani project’ that has helped 1, 800 women to set up businesses that are doing well and supplementing their households income,” added Watson.
Speaking on Tuesday during the unveiling the 20th edition of the Marathon at Safaricom headquarters in Nairobi, Watson said that the Marathon is also actively involved in sponsoring the endangered leatherback turtle Conservation at both Lake Naivasha and the Coast under the ‘Local Ocean Conservation.
He said that the annual event has attracted a good number of corporate sponsors and it is expected to reach its target of Shs 100 million this year.
Lewa down Marathon has so far also sponsored education programmes for more than 10,000 students in government schools and he cited a case of Jackline Mwendwa.
Mwendwa comes from a humble background and has been sponsored from her primary through to secondary and now studying teaching at Kibabii University in Bungoma.
Safaricom Head of Consumer Segment Marketing Charles Wanjohi disclosed that Diaspora participation this year is in high demand due the popularity of the annual event.
“People around the world and especially Europe are willing to participate in the Lewa Marathon and enjoy the serenity of the conservancy and of course chip in our conservation effort,” said Wanjohi.
Safaricom in conjunction with Lewa Conservancy are the main sponsors of Lewa Marathon which was an idea of its founder Michael Joseph towards reduction of Human, Wildlife conflict especially in Naivasha around the conservancy.
Safaricom Lewa marathon will open its registration portal today (Wednesday) February 27, 2019 at 9.00am for local and international participants to register for 1400 limited slots available to participate.
By Mary Seleyian and Joseph Ng’ang’a