See below our latest news. If you would like to receive further information on our work by email and invitations to our lectures, please register for our newsletters on our contact us page.
MEEP’s Project Manager, Lizbeth Mate, with support from our Chair, Chris Powles, spoke via Zoom to Chris’ village wildlife society in Oxfordshire, UK on “Elephants and Bees on Mt Elgon, Kenya”. Click on the image to the left to hear the recording and learn all about our very successful bees project.
MEEP’s Project Manager, Lizbeth Mate, with helpful support from Save The Elephants, has led a week’s training on Mt Elgon in beekeeping. 37 participants were trained, including 5 farmers, several lady members of their families and others in the local community.
MEF’s Chair, Chris, has been interviewed by an Irish community radio station about another of his wildlife passions – hedgehogs – and what he is doing to conserve them in the UK. The interview strayed onto his work on Mt Elgon and that was broadcast too. Click here to listen.
Lizbeth Mate (pictured), EAWLS-MEEP Project Manager, then moved on to installing the beehive fences. 5 farmers were selected for the trial and it took a week of training and installation. The bees have very quickly moved into several hives and catcher boxes. For more information, click here or visit our Facebook page.
Implementation of the pilot beehive fences has started! Elephants are frightened of bees so the pilot will suspend hives around farms, connecting them by wire to prevent elephants from entering the farms without disturbing the bees. Here catcher boxes are being placed in trees to attract passing swarms.
Following a number of reports regarding Kitum Cave in Mount Elgon National Park and Marburg disease being posted on the Internet, the Foundation does a detailed search for relevant authoritative scientific studies. To request the results of this work, contact the Foundation by clicking here.
Andrew Smallwood speaks on his recent visit to Mt Elgon & draws our Christmas Appeal winners, followed by an update from Chris Powles on our work. To listen to the first Zoom timed for Africa, Europe & US click here, for the second for Africa, Australasia & Europe click here.
A “peak party” of 11 including our Chair, Christopher Powles, make it to the top of Koitoboss on Mount Elgon after three days of very arduous trekking. For a full account of their hike click here.
The Foundation launches its Christmas Appeal to sponsor our Chair, Christopher Powles, to hike to the Koitoboss peak of Mount Elgon. This will take him from around 6,000 feet (1,830 m) to around 14,000 feet (4,265m).
MEEP commences a successful recruitment exercise to appoint 4 new scouts and a field assistant and to train them in the SMART technology. Lady candidates are appointed to one scout and the field assistant roles. This takes MEEP’s field team to 13.
National Museums of Kenya organised a successful local community outreach event supported by them and the Max Planck Institute of Germany that has been instrumental in the work at Kakapel. The event involved local students and traditional song and dance in between discussions. There has also been new interpretive signage installed explaining the rock art site.
A small herd of elephant crossed the Suam river into Uganda before returning to the Kenya park. To our knowledge, this is the first verified report of elephant on the Uganda side of Mt Elgon since the 1970’s when they were all killed, despite the c. 1,100 sq. km Uganda side of Mt Elgon all being national park, compared to the c. 170 sq. km park in Kenya. The potential for them to re-establish in Uganda is significant.
The MEEP Community Scouts receive a donation of wet weather gear to support them in their strenuous work on the mountain in all weathers. This kit was generously donated by two south Wales companies, Jottnar and BCB International, and was arranged by the Mount Elgon Foundation. For more information, click here.
Kenya Wildlife Service, supported by the Mount Elgon Elephant Project / the Mount Elgon Foundation, hold their first conservation education meeting. Combined with a community sensitisation meeting, it was held at Kongit Secondary School with KWS Warden Kaberwa addressing 150 students, over 400 parents / other community members and 28 teachers. 360 Cyprus seedlings were planted at the school and the student wildlife club gained membership of the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya.
The Elephant Crisis Fund announce their support for the Mount Elgon Elephant Project to trial beehive fences, designed by Dr Lucy King from Save the Elephants, on farms by the Mt Elgon forest boundary. This will be the first significant such trial in the area and should result in reduced Human-Elephant Conflict in this conflict hotspot.
The GNIplus project produces its scoping study, that is available by clicking here, on the potential for Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) Schemes on the Kenya side of Mt Elgon region. For a video that provides an overview of this work, for an introduction to PES and to learn more about GNIplus see the July 2021 news item.
With the seasonal very dry weather, a number of fires break out on Mt Elgon. The Foundation agrees to support the exceptional response of Kenya Wildlife Service to contain the fires (involving the MEEP scouts and other community members) so that they damaged the podo forest and bamboo zone as little as possible.
The Foundation is delighted to announce that a leading international conservation organisation, the International Conservation Fund of Canada, has agreed to support the East African Wild Life Society – Mount Elgon Elephant Project.
December 2021 – January 2022
The first Mount Elgon Foundation Christmas Appeal is launched, raffling the original drawing of an elephant by the talented Kenya born artist, Tina Hemphill. By the 31 December close date, the Appeal exceeded all expectations so on 22 January, the Foundation held a Zoom Prize Draw by the artist at which the internationally renowned conservationist, Ian Redmond, speaks. To listen to a recording, click here.
The Foundation and the EAWLS hold a further two joint Zoom lectures on the same day for different time zones with Aiden Doyle, Stephen Powles, Dr Emmanuel Ndiema and Chris Powles presenting. To listen to the first lecture and Q&A click here.
MEEP’s Project Manager and the EAWLS Programmes Manager conduct a Human-Elephant Conflict Assessment on Mount Elgon with the support of the Elephant Crisis Fund.
The Foundation and the EAWLS hold a further joint Zoom lecture with Aiden Doyle, Stephen Powles, Dr Emmanuel Ndiema and Chris Powles presenting. To listen to the lecture click here and to listen to the Q&A click here.
The Foundation announces its support for and involvement in the GNIplus project for Mt Elgon – an initiative to identify the potential for Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) Schemes in Mt Elgon region, Kenya. For a summary video that provides an overview of this work, click here, and for an introduction to PES, click here. To learn more about GNIplus click here.
The Foundation links with Give2Asia so Australian donors can now make tax deductible contributions to support the Foundation’s livelihoods work on Mount Elgon. Click on the image to the left.
MEEP’s scouts transition to SMART Mobile from Cybertracker to enhance the functionality of their mobile data gathering on Mount Elgon as part of a training exercise, following the interview process below.
MEEP’s scout force expands from 6 to 9 to cover two new areas of Mount Elgon and to provide additional resource in an existing key area. This follows another COVID compliant open air interview process conducted jointly with Kenya Wildlife Service.
Two of the Foundation’s trustees, Christopher Powles and Dr Emmanuel Ndiema, have been made Honorary Wardens for the Kenya Wildlife Services Western Conservation Area in recognition for their work on Mount Elgon.
The Foundation holds its next Zoom lecture with Aiden Doyle, Stephen Powles, Dr Emmanuel Ndiema and Christopher Powles presenting. To listen to the lecture click here and to listen to the Q&A click here.
The Foundation links with LEWA Canada so Canadian donors can now make tax deductible contributions to support the Foundation’s work on Mount Elgon. Click on the image to the left.
U.S. based donors can now make tax deductible contributions to the newly launched “Mount Elgon Foundation U.S.A. Fund” at the King Baudouin Foundation United States. Click on the image to the left.
The Foundation publishes its first short, one page “Scout Report” to explain more about the work we are doing on the ground and to ask for sponsorship of the Mt Elgon Elephant Project community scouts. Click on the image to the left to read it.
S J Wire, a Western Australia magazine, publish an article highlighting Charles Kerfoot’s deep personal connection with the people of Mount Elgon and what he brings to the Foundation as a Key Adviser. Click on the image to the left to read it.
Two new MEEP community scouts start work this month taking the total to six, following a COVID compliant open air interview process jointly with Kenya Wildlife Service. This will allow more of the mountain to be covered by MEEP’s work.
The Foundation holds its first Zoom lecture with Aiden Doyle, Stephen Powles, Dr Emmanuel Ndiema and Christopher Powles presenting. To listen to the lecture click here and to listen to the lively Q&A click here.
The Foundation publishes its second newsletter to mark its first anniversary and to announce its first Zoom lecture.
Kenya Museum Society publish article describing work in Chepnyalil Cave that adds to our understanding of factors affecting settlement patterns through climatic shifts.
SWARA Magazine publishes “Chemukung: the Elephant, the Snare and the Log”, describing the joint MEEP-Kenya Wildlife Service operation in February to save an elephant caught by a snare.
Stephen Powles lectures on Elgon via Zoom to a UK group interested in Zoopharmacognosy – behaviour in which “non-human animals apparently self-medicate”.
MEEP funds Kenya Wildlife Service led meeting to sensitise members of the local community to MEEP’s work and discuss the snared elephant, with MEEP community scouts in attendance.
MEEP launches SMART Connect to deliver automatic cloud based data download.
Kenya Wildlife Service and MEEP run a difficult joint operation to successfully save an elephant caught in a snare tied to a large log that it had been dragging across the mountain.
Christopher Powles addresses the East African Wild Life Society at Muthaiga Club, Nairobi on “Cave Elephants and the Search for our Early Ancestors on Mount Elgon”.
The Foundation’s first newsletter announces the formation of the Mount Elgon Foundation the month before and provides an update on the activities of MEEP.
Christopher Powles addresses the Oxfordshire Mammal Group at the prestigious Oxford Museum of Natural History on “Troglodyte Elephants and the Search for Early Man”.
SWARA Magazine publishes “Cave Elephants and the Search for our Early Human Ancestors on Mount Elgon” that describes MEEP’s operations and some of the cultural heritage work being done on Mount Elgon.
MEEP holds training week on Mount Elgon with the MEEP community scouts and some KWS staff to launch the SMART and Cybertracker mapping technology.
Christopher Powles and Charles Kerfoot address a lunch in Oxford, UK of the Kitale School Alumni Association on the “Mount Elgon Elephant Project”.
Christopher Powles addresses the Oxford University Exploration Club on “Troglodyte Elephants and the Search for Early Man”, around 35 years since he last spoke to the Club as an undergraduate.
Banner: just below the caldera, Uganda as a storm gathers. (Credit: Christopher Powles.)