Community Conservationist and Wildlife Ecologist
Eric was born in Maasai Mara. He grew up in a landscape defined by it’s rich biodiversity and strong Maasai culture. Like any other Maasai boy, Eric grew up herding cows and goats. As a result of his experiences with wildlife, Eric developed a passion for conservation. Eric’s father, an uneducated elder, wanted him to become a teacher. He was frequently introduced by his father as a teacher to his fellow elders in the marketplace. A Conservationist and practitioner with over 10 years of experience in community conservation and research, Eric is currently the Chief programs officer at MMWCA. He leads the technical division overseeing different portfolios, aimed at saving the iconic greater Maasai Mara ecosystem. Eric holds a Master of Science in Wildlife Biology.
I am so privileged to be born into this great savanna, a landscape where lions roam around, elephants block the way to water points and block kids from accessing schools, and wildebeest cover the entire area to a point where sometimes the area appears burned during migration. This is the Maasai Mara landscape. It is one of the few remaining wildlife frontiers in the world and has been named the 8th wonder of the world because of its spectacular annual migration. The landscape is only about 0.05% of total country land but hosts a third of Kenya’s wildlife.
“I had challenged myself about how to lead meaningful change and how can my community be at the driver’s seat in creating home-grown solutions to their problems. When I look back at that journey, I see nothing but hope.”
Unfortunately this hangs in a balance, and without urgent interventions, the Maasai Mara will be a shell of itself. Having been born here, I confirm the numbers provided by research which indicates a 68% decline of wildlife in the last 40 years. I have seen species that once roamed our villages diminish, I have seen empty skies, few or no birds/vultures, I have not seen an Egyptian Vulture for the last 15 years, Wild dogs are now rare and most importantly I have witnessed the northern wildebeest migration diminish. I have been involved in research, have read many research papers and participated in developing policies. But, although all this is important, something must be done, a radical approach must be deployed if this iconic landscape is going to exist. Realizing that the Mara is in a crisis, I took up the role of leading transformation through giving the community a voice, applying science and influencing policy.
I come from an indigenous community that has a special connection to nature, a group people who have risked everything, including their lives, to accommodate wildlife. What drives me is an inner understanding that I have to support my community and their iconic ecosystem.