Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

Technology crucial in raising funds to help save Nairobi Park — here’s how

Technology crucial in raising funds to help save Nairobi Park — here’s how

Spanning only 117 square kilometers — a modest space compared to other parks across the globe — Kenya’s Nairobi Park manages to preserve a habitat for 100 mammals and 400 migratory and endemic bird species.

The park has won the hearts of many tourists — about 10,000 people visit per month. Travel and restaurant website TripAdvisor even tagged the Nairobi Park as the top tourist destination in Africa and the third best in the world. It never fails to astound its visitors with its lions, leopards, giraffe, cheetah and hyenas, as well as herds of buffalo and a concentrated population of ostriches.

Peak season is from July to October, when you can witness the migration of 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra in search of water and grazing.

Beyond its representation of the country’s love and respect for all creatures in the spectrum of life, the Nairobi Park harbors a significant landscape of Kenya’s past when urbanization was yet to rise in its soil.

Its diverse habitats range from highland forest to rocky gorges, woodlands, thickets, swamps and ponds, rivers and vast savannas. More than 500 species of plants have been recorded there, nearly 100 are grasses.

All this beauty is available to visitors who can partake in a life changing safari trek through this region. The scenery is made more unique as it is laid against the backdrop of a city business district landscape. The Nairobi sanctuary is accessible from the city center as it is just a few minutes’ drive beyond the capital.

Unfortunately, the serenity the Nairobi Park offers to the world may soon be diminished as Kenya’s government seems to envision a developed nation at the expense of its natural resources.

Urbanization pressures sanctuary to sacrifice space

As Kenya goes through rapid economic development, the competing stakeholders are engaged in battled to secure space for infrastructure improvements necessary to serve its growing population. This puts revered heritage and wildlife sites like the Nairobi Park at risk.

Early in March, the extension of the Chinese-led railway project, Kenya’s biggest infrastructure development to date, commenced construction. This, despite years of aggressive defiance from several environment and wildlife protection groups as the 6-kilometer railway bridge slices through the park’s highland forests.

Since the construction started, protesters from various walks of life have stepped in to stop the development. The Friends of Nairobi National Park even planned another demo when the Chinese Premier visited, per Reuters.

The conservation group, a nonprofit membership society which is part of the petitioners to stop the project, said the project threatens to narrow the habitat and affect the breeding ground of the animals protected in the park. The group has been one of the loudest protesters to denounce the move.

Friends of Nairobi was formed in 1995 with the mission to preserve biodiversity within the Nairobi Park, hand in hand with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). The organization has been instrumental in conserving the thriving rangelands at the southern part of the sanctuary while it promotes the idea of enriching a balanced life where wildlife exists in a community. The group’s role in preserving the Nairobi Park has been highlighted in recent years when the city’s economic development and expanding population have prompted the emergence of infrastructure and agricultural development.

Amid this battle to preserve the country’s resources and history, the private sector has proved helpful in assisting the group in generating financial assistance. Exponential, Inc. (XPO²) has been raising funds for the group to save the Nairobi Park.

The tech marketing firm led by Founder and CEO Dom Einhorn is grounded on the principle of supporting organizations that offer the highest “net social impact”. It has given a hand to various cause-driven groups such as environmental and wildlife non-government organizations, including Save Vietnam’s Wildlife and Oregon-based Blue Mountain Humane Society.

XPO² develops and promotes a white-label e-commerce platform that drives fundraising revenue for charities and nonprofit groups worldwide. Through the firm’s platform, donors and supporters gain access to exclusive discounts and savings that are not granted through a merchant’s site. Every purchase helps raise incremental funds for the company’s partner groups who do not pay a single cent for the campaigns.

The funds that XPO² generates for Friends of Nairobi will help secure the future of the rich safari. To continue nurturing the ecosystem, the group is in need of more funds to better fulfill its mission, especially today that an essential part of the Nairobi Park could be replaced with a railway development project.