In December 2006, the Grevy’s Zebra Trust visited southern Ethiopia to see Grevy’s zebras in Chew Bahir (once known as Lake Stefanie) which is located just north of the Kenya border. We teamed up with an indigenous NGO called the Wildlife Conservation and Environmental Development Association of Ethiopia (WildCODE) to understand the ongoing community conservation development in this region.
In addition, GZT met the Arbore people of Chew Bahir to discuss partnerships for the future. It is believed that the Chew Bahir Grevy’s zebra are likely to be the same ones that are found in northern Kenya so this area is considered a high priority for GZT’s regional conservation goals.
Following a meeting with the Arbore people’s community-based organization, Hor Ethiopia, it was agreed that a first step would be to arrange a visit to northern Kenya. Exposure for Hor Ethiopia to the community conservation model of northern Kenya which they could adapt in Ethiopia based on their own specific conservation needs.
In May/June 2007, our Grevy’s zebra conservation partners from southern Ethiopia toured several northern Kenya community conservancies and visited their management teams. The group was able to experience first-hand the community conservation model that is successful in northern Kenya, a model which can hopefully be adapted for implementation in southern Ethiopian communities.
Swahili, Maa and Amharic for thank you. We’d like to express our thanks to the African Wildlife Foundation for funding this tour and to the Northern Rangelands Trust for facilitating the pre- and post-tour workshops.
Since the partnership began, GZT and WildCODE have developed a Memorandum of Understanding under which they are working together. GZT provides support to develop the capacity of WildCODE and their Grevy’s zebra conservation activities in Chew Bahir. The Hor Ethiopia Board has held several awareness-raising meetings with the wider Arbore community and plans to undertake the following conservation activities:
- Inter-tribal conflict resolution between Arbore, Hamar and Borana
- Community awareness-raising on Grevy’s zebra and other wildlife
- Initiating plans to employ community scouts to protect Grevy’s zebra and other wildlife within Chew Bahir
GZT also took the opportunity to visit Alledeghi in the Afar Region where another population of Grevy’s zebra is found. This visit was kindly facilitated by Fanuel Kabede of the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Department (EWCD) who has been monitoring this population for several years. GZT was also formally introduced to EWCD and to the regional administrative authorities of the Chew Bahir and Alledeghi sites.