Tushumu Kenya-Tanzania Project

Tushumu Project Landscape - Credit Guy Western

ZSL’s Tushumu Project (‘tushumu’ meaning ‘uplift’ in the Maasai language) straddles the Kenya-Tanzania boundary in East Africa. The project activities are tailored to meet two broad objectives:

  • The transboundary conservation of rangelands and water catchments serving Lake Natron - for the benefit and coexistence of both people and wildlife
  • Climate resilient and green livelihoods for communities, with a focus on women

ZSL is the lead organisation in this collaboration in which many of the ground-based activities are implemented by our in-country partners, Oikos East Africa (OEA) in Tanzania, with support from Istituto Oikos (IO), and the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO) on the Kenyan side. We are very grateful for the financial support provided by the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States through the BIOPAMA Programme.

Alaililai group discussion on grievance feedback mechanism in Longido ward - Credit Emmanuel Tarangei


The project area is primarily inhabited by indigenous Maasai communities who depend on pastoralism as their main livelihood. In Tanzania the project targets the Lake Natron ecosystem, specifically the wards Gelai Merugoi and Gelai Lumbwa in Longido District, while in Kenya the project focuses on communities within the Magadi and Loita locations, which are dependent on natural resources within the Ewaso-Nyiro catchment.

Tushumu Project Map

Planned project outcomes 

  • Improved protection of the Natron-Nguruman water catchment rangelands
  • Livelihoods of women pastoralists diversified and resilience to shocks increased
  • Improved coexistence with wildlife through education, reduced livestock depredation, better livestock husbandry, and increased prey populations
  • Improved stakeholder dialogue in a key transboundary wildlife corridor

Tushumu Project Components and Approach


Direct beneficiaries

  • 15 community rangers employed in Kenya
  • 300 women and youth being trained in marketplace literacy in Kenya
  • 35 women and youth supported with training enabling subsequent set up of a natural leather micro-enterprise in Kenya and a 20-women tannery in Tanzania strengthened.
  • 7,000 students and community members engaged in conservation education programmes in Kenya and Tanzania
  • 2,000 community members to receive awareness on human carnivore conflict in Kenya and Tanzania.


BIOPAMA Full LogoZSL LogoOikos East Africa LogoOikos LogoSORALO Logo

Key Information

Project area:  Kenya and Tanzania borderlands

Lead:  Zoological Society of London (PI: Nick Mitchell)

Kenya Partner:  South Rift Association of Land Owners (Guy Western)

Tanzania Partners:  Oikos East Africa and Istituto Oikos (Silvia Ceppi)

Duration:  November 2020 – November 2022