Women in Samburu are reaping big economically after finding a solid customer base in elephant orphanages situated in the county. The women are reported to be raking huge profits after being sought to supply the commodity to orphanages harbouring hundreds of elephant calves orphaned by poachers and other natural causes.
The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is one such market where the women have found a resourceful base from where they earn their living. Given that their husbands cannot allow them to sell the goats to source their income, the women say the sanctuary has worked as an apt alternative to their sources of income.
Animal health specialist credit goat milk for its richness in nutrients essential for the calves’ growth. The milk is mixed with moringa, which is believed to boost growth due to its high protein content, carotenoids, minerals and vitamins.
The sanctuary has had an increase in calves’ population, leading to an increase in goat rearing in the surrounding areas. The women unite at different points where the sanctuary keepers collect the milk. A litre of the milk is sold at KSh 180.
The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary was established in August 2016 by Governor Moses Lenolkulal. The sanctuary was designed to rescue and release orphaned and abandoned elephant calves whilst creating much-needed benefits for the local people that live alongside them. The reserve represents the communities standing up united for wildlife in recognition of the value the endangered animals can add to them.
Reteti is situated in the remote Mathews Range, among Kenya’s second-largest elephant population.
The sanctuary takes in orphaned and abandoned elephant calves, and after they come of age, they are released into the wild herds adjoining the sanctuary. The sanctuary has grown new economies, transformed lives and also conserves natural resources.