Biogas project at Masai village Kenya
The Maasai are one of the most well-known African tribes, living on the Mara plains across southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Known for their distinctive red garb and intricate beaded jewellery, these nomadic pastoralists whose lifestyles have often been threatened by encroaching modern influences are now being recognised as a vitally important part of these country’s heritages.
An increasing number of conservation projects and collaborations with ecotourism organisations is helping the Maasai peoples to maintain their culture and traditional ways of living which thrive within some of the harshest climates.
Governors Camp collaborates closely with a nearby Masai camp, the Mara Rianda, having set up a BioGas project there in 2006. The project has helped the manyatta (Masai dwellings camp) to flourish and makes use of the readily available renewable resource generated by the cattle kept by the Mara Rianda tribe: their dung!
The cattle dung produces methane gas which is stored in the BioGas plant and can be used for cooking, by recycling this waste product, the camp also stays cleaner thereby reducing the number of fly-borne diseases that previously afflicted some members of the tribe. Similarly as surrounding trees are no longer chopped for firewood, they have grown and provide shade and a habitat for wildlife.
Guests at Governors Camp can visit Mara Rianda for a small entrance fee, spending time with the tribespeople to learn their customs and also discover how the BioGas project has benefited the local community. A small market on the site sells traditional Maasai crafts and jewellery too, with all revenue from the entrance ticket going towards the running of the manyatta, a school and school equipment, and the maintenance of the tribal families.