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Borana’s Bravo Golf: Improving ranger accommodation

In the vast landscapes of Northern Kenya, the Lewa Wildlife and Borana Conservancies stand as beacons of hope for threatened species, including rhinos, elephants, Grévy's zebras, and lions. The Lewa-Borana Landscape (LBL) has become a stronghold for their conservation, with significant strides in population growth among these species. However, the threat to animals from poaching continues. To mitigate this threat, the LBL has been implementing several strategies: providing appropriate equipment to the anti-poaching and rhino monitoring teams, increasing human capacity, training courses, enhancing intelligence gathering, and improving staff welfare.

 

A critical aspect of conservation efforts is ensuring the well-being and effectiveness of the rangers on the front lines. Borana Conservancy recognised the need to upgrade facilities for its rangers stationed at the security base, named Bravo Golf, at the main entrance gate to the Conservancy, where three female rangers are currently posted. To improve living conditions, Borana requested a grant from ForRangers to upgrade the accommodation at Bravo Golf with the goal of providing a decent space that rangers could be proud of.

 

Initially, there were four dome-shaped rooms at Bravo Golf: three of these were used for accommodation and the remaining room was used for storage. There was one bathroom and toilet, which were in good condition and did not require any modifications or upgrades. Borana intended to build five new rooms at this base: three for accommodation, one as a common room, and one as a kitchen. As the gatehouse is on the main road that cuts through Borana, it is imperative that there is a smart and appropriate structure to assist with external and internal security, as well as contribute towards raising morale and motivation for the teams based there.

 

Recycled bottles from Borana’s tourism lodge were used for the windows, and local materials were acquired for the rest of construction. Borana remains hugely grateful for the support received and hopes to replicate the success across all gate houses in the Conservancy. The rangers’ and scouts’ morale and work ethic remain high, and the team continues to participate in regular training courses.

 

Amidst the construction, conservation efforts across the LBL continued to thrive. The rhino population reached new heights by September 2023, with one black rhino bull, Sonny Liston, expanding his territory south towards the Ngare Ndare Forest.

 

The upgraded Bravo Golf accommodation has brought about notable improvements, as highlighted by the on-site rangers. From increased space to durable doors and security lights, the new houses not only meet high standards, but also signify Borana’s commitment to the welfare of its rangers.



On the veranda, and the inside of the new Bravo Golf block. Credit: Borana Conservancy.

 

Jane Namanu, a ranger based at Bravo Golf, shared, "The new houses are in very good condition; they are much more spacious and offer more comfort and warmth than the previous accommodation. The new waste disposal pit built will also make the environment clean and waste disposal easier."

 

Rianto Lokoran, Deputy Head of Security at Borana Conservancy, added, “The new Bravo Golf gate house has been built to such a high standard that we would now like to apply this to all gate houses, for example ‘India Golf’. I would like to acknowledge and thank our donor for the great work supporting our rangers with this improved accommodation.”

 

The Bravo Golf project stands as a testament to the ongoing commitment of Borana Conservancy and its partners to conservation and ranger welfare. By addressing the fundamental need for suitable accommodation, the project contributes to maintaining security within the Conservancy and ultimately safeguarding the rich biodiversity of the LBL.

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