If there’s anything I used to fear while out in the wild are snakes! Not because they are venomous,poisonous or anything BUT because they are depicted as cunning and illusive creatures out there to get us.I dont wanna be the one to eat the forbidden fruit and voila ! Am in my birthday suit ! You remember the story of Eve and the serpent at the garden of Eden ? Story for another day.Just a few weeks ago I had a close encounter with Atheris squamigera commonly known as a green bush viper.It was a brisky ,windy and a cold morning , Caroline and I set out into Kakamega forest in search of pollinators. Carolina…or rather Caro as I love to call her when am a little lazy to finish her name is my very able local guide .If I have interacted with you in the last couple of months am sure you’ve met her by word of mouth cz she’s amazing !
Never in my life would I imagine that I will be standing under a branch for about 10 minutes with a venomous snake just chilling a few inches from my head perhaps wondering at the level of my confidence.The kind of confidence that only a guy will propose to his girlfriend with a sure answer of a YES.When I noticed this fellow camouflaged in the green leaves and branches ,I stopped to take a couple of shots lest he-she changes its mind about this new relationship that was blossoming between us 10 mins ago.Carolina was a few meters ahead and probably had no idea that I was being “engaged ” to bae .So I called Caro and showed her my new boo and this ended up to a conversation that revealed some chilling details about conservation of snakes in this area.
I love going for walks into the forest once in a while and sometimes I stumble into a snake which slithers into the bushes once it feels my vibrations and disappears from my sight.Kakamega forest is recognized for its diversity in bees,butterflies and snakes.But a saddening truth lurks in the shadows…this is now not the case for the snakes.Just a single encounter with a snake in over 3 months…there’s clearly a problem and if not addressed then there will be no more snakes left .A lot of campaigns have been launched about SAVE our rhinos ,elephants, honestly it’s time to save our snakes from extinction.The Creator wasn’t a fool to put them into existence and you would be a damn fool to wipe them out of existence. A lot of snakes are poached and killed every year ….reason….? because they are snakes ! Cumon,Give them a break !Most snakes will only strike when provoked otherwise they will slither away.Trust me ,as much as we don’t wanna see them,neither do they .
Natural habitat degradation is a major concern for this charming creatures and sometimes they seek refuge in our compounds in search for food .Having rodents situationship ? Dial # Snake Snake Snake for quick service delivery . I don’t know what you have been told about snakes in your religion or culture but it’s a high time we give a little “shit” about these beguiling creatures then we can learn to appreciate them a little bit more.
Snakes are not out here to ” Na na na na na na na na We gonna start a Fight ” .They just want to be left alone .
Have you ever imagined how the world would be like without oceans and seas,lakes and rivers,streams and ponds? I have ! LIFELESS ! Water scarcity is a worldwide issue affecting over 40% of the global population. Therefore ,before you leave that tap running while brushing your teeth or taking a 60 minutes shower “four ” times a day…Think TWICE!
Pollination is an important process and serves as an ecosystem service to both human beings, wild plants and animals. Pollination is considered an ecosystem service due to the benefits that accompany it in the natural and agricultural ecosystem. Therefore it’s a precarious process that if not managed well, the impacts on natural terrestrial ecosystem,agriculture and food production will be devastating .Most angiosperms or rather flowering plants rely on pollination services to set seeds and produce fruits. Other animals up in the hierarchy depend on the seeds and fruits for food in order to survive and if this relationship is interfered in any way then we are likely to experience a collapse in the general functioning of the ecosystem.
Majority of fruits and vegetables are insect pollinated, most of this are cultivated by small-scale farmers in the rural areas either for subsistence use and /or for sale. With changing climate fostering variations in weather patterns and emergence of new pests and crop diseases,most small scale farmers have retorted to use of fertilizers and pesticides to improve crop yields to fend for their households. But this is not enough. There’s a gap in information dissemination about pollination, pollination services and their impact to the general and agro-ecosystem. This information has to be shared with farmers so as to expand their knowledge base and be on the frontline of pollinator conservation.
It has been almost a year now since I worked with children on conservation issues, and I must confess I miss the good old days. There’s something about working with children that makes me alive, can’t really point out but maybe someday I will. When growing up, around age 7…8…there about I would put up feeding and water points for birds that flew into our compound. Back then, my dad used to rear chicken and once in a while I would steal the chicken food and feed it to my little friends. This is definitely not the case with the current generation of children who are more disconnected to nature than my days. Studies have indicated that children below the age of 12 are spending most of their time on electronics and a little less than 2% engage in outdoor activities resulting to snags such as attention paucity and disconnection from what’s real and what’s not. Living in their small cocoons of Kungfu Panda, Ben10, Powerpuff girls and Dora the explorer.
If children are not involved and connected to nature then how will they understand it and conserve it for posterity? It’s time to wake up! And strike while the iron is still hot. Bringing up a generation of children who are connected with nature will surely shape the future of this planet. Children need to be made aware of the importance of forests, and most importantly the origin of that small drawing book they love so much. The importance of that water they love dipping their brushes in while painting. We can only achieve this by involving them in outdoor activities and environmental conservation issues. You will be amazed with what nature could do to your child! It’s never too late I guess.
Top; Tree planting in Kibiko Primary School in Ngong
Bottom; Stop talking and Start Planting ; Kwanjiko Primary School in Nyahururu