Sosian has a long-standing relationship with the British Army in Kenya, who bring their troops out to Laikipia to train in preparation for places like Afghanistan. Northern Kenya offers much of the necessary characteristics required when it comes to terrain, altitude and huge areas of uninhabited land.
It may seem controversial to have army training in a wildlife area but the reality on the ground is that the wildlife are almost entirely unaffected. The training is carefully managed and is low impact. If necessary larger mammals are pushed out of some pockets, using a helicopter, over the few days of training. But normally wildlife moves off on their own accord, returning as soon as there is a bit less human activity.
The reality is that wildlife often has to adjust to human activity. It’s a fact that we accept and strive to make the best of, in every country of the world. In Laikipia the environmental impact of the British army is low, yet more importantly, the positives, not only to British and Kenyan forces, but also to the local economy (much of which gets re-invested into conservation) is enormous.
At Sosian alone, with the support from the British army, we have been able to invest in well trained and equipped anti-poaching rangers, provide water security to wildlife and people (in the form of dams and boreholes), maintain roads and access and further support our local medical clinic and primary school.
On 30th September 2018 Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, came to Laikipia to see how the British Army training was progressing, but to also learn more about the social responsibility projects happening in our area. With great honour, Prince William came to Sosian to visit the children of Ol Maisor Primary School, with whom we have worked closely with over the past 10 years. His Royal Highness saw the latest classrooms that have been built and learnt more about future projects in the pipeline.
To finish off, Prince William handed out sports equipment, shoes and uniforms……
……and had a quick kick around with a football.
The children were delighted and excitement levels reached fever pitch. A day for all to remember!