Kipsaina swamp and the adjacent Saiwa Swamp National Park are home to numerous wetland species. As so many wetland habitats are rapidly disappearing in East Africa, all such indigenous species are in need of protection. Three unique species in particular are of interest in the wider Saiwa ecosystem – the Grey Crowned crane, the aquatic Sitatunga antelope and the DeBrazza’s monkey.
The BBC film “Queen of the Marsh” was made by Richard Brock (with research assistant Sam Forsyth, founder of KEEP) in 1994 about the wildlife of Saiwa Swamp and the work of Maurice Wanjala (founder of KCWCG, KEEP’s local partner in Kipsaina and Saiwa Swamp).
KEEP is working to support KCWCG’s environmental work in Wetland protection by
- Establishing wooded buffer zones on the water margins
- Providing alternative income streams to landowners who might otherwise be tempted to encroach onto the fertile wetlands, as well as educating them on the benefits of a healthy Wetland ecosystem, not least of which is safer management of floodwater and buffering against drought.
- Educating the next generation on the value of conservation and sustainable farming techniques through our work in schools.
Kipsaina and Saiwa Swamp are remnants of a much wider wetland ecosystem, and with the disruption of wildlife corridors by road building and urbanisation, many of the wildlife populations, including the Sitatunga, have become genetically isolated. There is potential for translocation work to alleviate this problem, and hopefully, longer term, the development of wildlife corridors.