As the new year unfolds, I trust and hope that all of you are well and in the best of your health. I am not sure whether most of you can remember me. I am John Mbaria, a Kenyan and lived at Capitol Hill in Seattle between 2009 and 2011.
I wish to let you know that after going back to Kenya, I went back to journalism. I now write for a number of newspapers here and other news outlets abroad. In addition, I would like to let you know that together with another Kenyan, Dr. Mordecai Ogada, we have authored a book that questions the approach Kenya and other countries in Africa have taken to conserve the last major herds and packs of wildlife remaining in the planet. I guess that most, if not all of you love wildlife, and might be working for, or supporting the survival and conservation of wild animals. For those unaware, Kenya is one of the few countries in the world that are inhabited by huge population of diverse wildlife. The country is also blessed with pristine ecosystems, some of which have remained unchanged for hundreds if not thousands of years.
But much of these resources are now facing serious threats. This is largely because of a fundamentally flawed conservation philosophy, ideology and practice adopted and maintained here since early 1900s. Driven by donor support from the United States, Britain and other countries in the West, the conservation approach is no longer relevant to the cultural, social, economic and natural dynamism(s) that Africa is going through today. It is also more about preserving the luxurious lifestyles of the practitioners than preserving the animals - as the world is duped to believe. Further, it is racist in design and has resulted not only in the decimation and disappearance of many species and habitats, but also in immense anger by communities that suffer the brunt of human-wildlife conflicts. Climate change, that has led to increasing frequency and severity of droughts, and human population increase have added another layer of the threats. But as all these things happen, as the species and habitats disappear, the world is duped, through films, TV-programs, books and reports, that all is well - as far as wildlife conservation is concerned.
Having covered, and written on, wildlife conservation since early 2000, I couldn't take it any more; I knew that I would one day tell this story. Indeed, when Dr. Ogada suggested that we write this book in 2013, I immediately jumped for the idea. We were lucky that Skeeter Wilson - who runs the American publishing company, Lens and Pens- believed in our work. As I write this, Lens and Pens has published the book and placed it at Amazon.
If any of you is interested in reading this book, you can get it from amazon through the following link:
I am sure the book will not just be an eye-opener, it is bound to change your perspective on these matters. Thank you and may God Bless you.
Note: we have a copy of John’s book in the church library.