With 84 wells and more on the horizon, the area where we work in Samburu East is growing. We realized that TSP needed more staff on the ground to ensure our wells continue to function properly and offer support to our well communities. We were very lucky to find Eric Lekolii in early 2016. A native of Wamba in Samburu County, Eric is 100% Samburu through and through. Married and the father of three children, he grew up in a traditional Samburu village and knows every tree, bush, bird, valley and village in Samburu.
In addition to his knowledge of all things Samburu, Eric is also a graduate of Nairobi University and a bronze level tour guide. After his education, he returned to Samburu and spent five years as a guide at Saasab Lodge. Ask Eric the sound a Golden Breasted Starling makes and he’ll tell you along with its scientific name and mating habits. Ask him if he’s ever come face to face with a leopard and he’ll share a good story with you. Spending time with Eric on this trip was quite a treat.
Eric first knew about The Samburu Project when we put a well near his village in 2007. Now, he is quickly becoming the second face of TSP on the ground as our new Field Manager. Engaging in this type of work requires a unique skill set; first of all they must be Samburu, speak the language and have the trust of the people, have a knowledge of wells and mechanical issues is equally important, being able to communicate with our California staff and pass on information to our donors are all important traits. We found all of the things and more in Eric. We are thrilled to welcome Eric to our Kenya team on the ground and I can’t wait for you to meet him in person.
Bonus Fun Fact: Just one of the fun facts we learned from Eric during our long bush drives; we all know the "Big Five" to look for when on safari: Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard and Elephant. Can you name the Little Five? Hint: their names bear resemblance to their larger namesakes. (The rhino beetle, buffalo weaver, ant lion, leopard tortoise and elephant shrew). Next question, can you name the Samburu Special Five? Join us in Samburu and Eric will show them to you.