THE PEOPLE and THE WILDLIFE OF SAMBURU
The Samburu people who live in the far northern reaches of Kenya are a pastoral nomadic tribal community with a livestock-based economy and a great cultural richness. They are related to the Maasai, sharing many customs and a common language known as Maa. Most dress traditionally in bright red cloth or leather and wear beaded jewelry. Social groups are divided by gender and age set. The moran, or young “warriors”, live separately from the rest of the community and are responsible for protecting the community, as well as herding cattle. They have lived sustainably with their environment for thousands of years, with the lightest possible carbon footprint.
Today, the both the Samburu cultural heritage and their natural environment is threatened by development and globalization. Their lives are unknowingly being impacted by consumption and development half a world away. Climate change and other factors have changed habitats, increased the severity and frequency of droughts, which has impacted availability of their food and water resources. By sharing their culture and knowledge of the bush, they hope to preserve their culture and pass on their understanding of their environment to future generations. Our work at KARE helps preserve the cultural and natural heritage of this area while providing the people of this region with much-needed food and water security, education and health care.