Nairobi, 11 July 2010
We extend our sincere thanks to everyone who contributed so generously to the rebuilding of our research facility, destroyed by flooding on March 4th, 2010. Due to the tremendous and overwhelming support of our friends and donors especially in the US and in UK, we have now exceeded our initial target of £100,000. In total we have raised £118,000 in direct and online donations. We are most grateful for the support of Kenyan and international media, who publicized our plight and helped raise international awareness.
We are pleased to report that much progress has already been made in the rebuilding effort with the funds raised. The flood was a major blow to STE operations, and the relief and rebuilding efforts required great financial resources and staff time. We have been busy picking up the pieces of our camp and planning for the future.
Currently, all staff are housed in camping tents provided by the British army immediately after the flooding. Permanent living quarters are being constructed which will make life at the camp more comfortable then before. The new structures will be eco friendly, as well as flood proof, relocated to higher ground to ensure greater security and minimal human foot print on the environment. We expect to have them up in the next three months.
Access to food and drinking water was greatly disrupted by the flooding, which destroyed our well, refrigeration facilities, and bridge used for transportation of supplies. Our well is now functioning again, thanks to the generosity of near by Chinese road construction crews who provided us with building material. Our fridge has also been emptied of mud and reinstated, allowing us to enjoy fresh nutritious meals once again.
We are in the process of replacing of essential field equipment including digital cameras for recording elephant ids, high-speed computers, and elephant radio tracking collars. The new equipment will enable us to enhance our operations and monitor greater elephant numbers. We are also restocking our library, as our valuable collection of books and field guides was washed away.
Now we intend to resume our important scientific and community work at pre-flood levels, work which for many years has helped the world understand and conserve elephant populations. Our scientists in Samburu are once again in the field, busy monitoring the movements of elephant families returning to the area. For this, we still need ongoing support.
With your support, we look forward to an exciting 2010 at the STE camp. We warmly invite you to visit us and see our progress!
Iain Douglas-Hamilton & The STE Team!
Click here to view more photos taken during the flood