The Tsavo Ecosystem is the largest protected area complex in Kenya and comprises three contiguous national parks (Tsavo East NP, Tsavo West NP, and Chyulu NP), three adjoining national reserves (South Kitui NR, Tsavo Roads and Railways NR, and Ngai Ndeithya NR), and extends across the international border into Tanzania to Mkomazi Game Reserve. It also includes adjacent community lands and private ranches. Almost 45 % of the Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) is protected. Non-protected areas (55 % of the TCA) include extensive cattle ranches (nearly 40 % of the whole) and small-scale crop cultivation, while 2 % of the area is under large-scale sisal plantations.
The current debates by members of the County Assembly Taita Taveta (MCA’s) could jeopardize conservation gains in the Tsavo Conservation Area. The land lease agreement between the Government and the current owners of Mkuki Ranch expired in December 2019. And there seems to be a looming conflict on who should own the land. MCA’s are scheming to have ownership of this ranche revert from present owners to the chawia community. Politicians have already incited the communities to invade the ranche and there is massive logging taking place. This has sparked a campaign across the County to have ownership of selected ranches revert to the taita community. If these are allowed ownership of these ranches will revert to the local community, and end up being subdivided to individuals affecting the wildlife connectivity in the Tsavo conservation areas. Three ranches highlighted in red (map above) have been dissolved and another five – Mbale, Bura, Washumbu, Dawida and Kambanga are targeted.CAK through the Kenya Elephant Forum (KEF) and in collaboration with Taita Ecosystem Dispersal Area (TEDA) a multi sectoral initiative lead by the PS Ministry of Agriculture, Taita Taveta Wildlife Conservancy Association (TTWCA), Africa Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and SOKNOT an initiative by WWF Kenya have come together to forge a partnership with common approach on implementation of the wildlife corridors and dispersal areas report. in the Tsavo-Mkomazo Conservation Area.