Humankind and Nature


EIWEN - Endorois Indigenous Women Empowerment Network

Endorois Indigenous Women Sustainable Health and Environmental Project in Lake Bogoria, Baringo, Kenya

EIWEN community outreach

USD 25.000 grant 
to enhance the quality of life and empower 
the Endorois Indigenous community by advocating 
improved access to health services, safe drinking water, 
and preserving their territorial sovereignty 
and traditional ways of living harmoniously with nature.

On this page you can learn about the community served by this project and the particular challenges they face. We also offer insights into EIWEN, the Indigenous-led organization we proudly support, and a thorough account of the project they are undertaking. We invite you to delve further, consider becoming an ally, and discover ways to offer direct support to EIWEN, detailed below.

The Community

The Endorois Indigenous People

The Endorois were the first inhabitants of a section of Baringo and Laikipia Counties in Kenya for over half a millennium. For this minority community, Lake Bogoria and the Siracho Range hold tremendous spiritual and cultural significance, as indicated in the Endorois Biocultural Protocol.

According to the 2019 Kenya government census, there are over 45,000 Endorois people. However, the actual number could be higher than 60,000. This number disparity is due to the Kenyan government's lack of recognition of the Endorois as a distinct ethnic community. The Endorois identify both as Indigenous and a minority community. They have been formally recognized by the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPRs) Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities (WGIP) and by the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights. In 1973, the Kenyan government forcibly displaced the Endorois people to create the Lake Bogoria National Reserve without prior consultation or consent, a direct violation of their customary rights. 

In a landmark decision adopted by the African Union on February 2010, the African Commission declared the expulsion of Endorois from their ancestral lands illegal. ACHPR found that the Kenyan Government had failed to recognize and protect the Endorois' ancestral land rights and to provide sufficient compensation or alternative grazing land following their eviction, or to grant restitution of their land, and similarly failed to include the community within the relevant development processes. Nonetheless, since the African Commission's decision was articulated to the Kenyan government, very little effort has been made to implement its recommendations.


The Endorois case | ESCR-Net

What is this case about? In the 1970s, the Kenyan government evicted hundreds of Endorois families from their traditional lands around the Lake Bogoria area in the Rift Valley, to create a game reserve for tourism. In response, and after pursuing legal options at the national level, the Endorois Welfare Council, assisted by fellow ESCR-Net members, Minority Rights Group

This history, compounded by the harsh effects of climate change, has threatened the Endorois's physical, spiritual and cultural livelihood. Furthermore, the eviction and disenfranchisement of the Endorois have created generational trauma, loss of elders, culture and language, and the overall erosion of identity. Additionally, the Endorois youth are at risk of permanent alienation from their ancestors' ways of life due to increased westernization at the expense of a loss of identity and Indigenous knowledge dating back many millennia to the original roots of humanity on the African continent.

The Problem

The Endorois Indigenous community, displaced from their ancestral land in 1974, faces ongoing challenges. They seek justice, preservation of their traditional way of life, access to healthcare, and safe water sources. Efforts to secure their rights, even after a favorable 2010 decision from the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, have resulted in arrests and violence against community activists. Climate change, with increased rainfall and rising water levels in Lake Bogoria, has submerged health facilities and displaced villages, intensifying their struggles. 

Photo Credit - EIWEN

These challenges disproportionately affect women and people with disabilities (PWD), resulting in higher mortality rates and limited healthcare access. COVID-19 has further exacerbated PWDs difficulties in accessing healthcare and has also meant the loss of many elders, keepers of the Endorois' traditional knowledge, increasingly threatened.

The Partner

EIWEN - Endorois Indigenous Women Empowerment Network

EIWEN is a Kenyan, community-based organization founded in 2016 by Endorois women to improve the quality of life for Indigenous and marginalized women and girls. EIWEN runs two main programs: Women's Empowerment and Disability Rights and Empowerment. Its mission is to empower Endorois women to actively participate in the economic, social and political spheres and to educate them about their constitutional rights regarding decision-making processes, land ownership and inheritance. EIWEN integrates climate smart agriculture and agroecological approaches using the Indigenous knowledge of Endorois women to promote environmental conservation and adaptation to climate change. 

Its Disability Rights and Empowerment Program focuses on raising awareness, facilitating access to government services and assistive devices, and advocating for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in decisionmaking and economic development, particularly in government procurement opportunities. They have completed projects supporting outreach programs and capacity building for Indigenous persons with disabilities, civic education for women inclusion, educational campaigns on Health and WASH, and funding research to support budget allocation.



Endorois Indigenous Women Empowerment Network

As a women-led organization, our mandate is to advocate for the rights of women, persons with disabilities and girls in the Endorois Community.

by Christine Kandie

The Project 

Endorois Indigenous Women Sustainable Health and Environmental Project in Lake Bogoria, Baringo, Kenya

The project offers a multifaceted solution. Firstly, it intends to wield the power of advocacy by engaging government policymakers, ministries, and county departments. In doing so, it aligns with the broader goals of good governance and equal access to services. By advocating for enhanced access to safe water, sanitation, and healthcare services, the project contributes to improving public health and welfare, a goal that policymakers often prioritize. Secondly, climate change's repercussions in the Lake Bogoria area can no longer be ignored. 

By focusing on this aspect, the project addresses a tangible and growing threat not just to the Endorois community but to the entire region. It offers pragmatic solutions to safeguard vital infrastructure, prevent further displacement, and ensure the sustainability of livelihoods in the face of climate change. These are compelling arguments that resonate with environmental conservation and community resilience. 

Lastly, the project's support for the rehabilitation and protection of the Endorois community's ancestral land, as recommended by the 2010 Endorois Community Land case, speaks to the heart of cultural heritage and Indigenous rights. This is not just about land; it's about identity and the preservation of a way of life that has existed in harmony with nature for generations. This aspect alone carries a compelling moral and cultural argument that transcends boundaries and appeals to our shared human values. 

This project proposes a comprehensive advocacy and lobbying initiative to address root causes rather than isolated technical solutions, with a focus on policy change and systemic transformation.

EIWEN will improve the life of the Endorois community by working towards 5 key goals:

1. Improve Access to Safe Water, Sanitation, and Healthcare 

a) Assess Community Needs: Evaluate specific water, sanitation, and healthcare requirements in the Endorois community; 
b) Stakeholder Engagement: Collaborate with government officials and policymakers to advocate for enhanced infrastructure and resources; 
c) Policy Recommendations: Develop comprehensive policy suggestions for better access to safe water, sanitation, and healthcare services;
d) Policy Advocacy: Lobby for policy changes by presenting recommendations to decision-makers and engaging in targeted advocacy efforts.

2. Rehabilitate Ancestral Land to create a National Reserve 

a) Land Assessment: Evaluate the current state of ancestral land and identify areas needing rehabilitation;
Rehabilitation Planning: Develop detailed plans for land restoration, including reforestation, erosion prevention, and cultural site protection;
c) Collaboration with Authorities: Work closely with government 
agencies to secure permissions, permits, and resources for land rehabilitation;
d) Implementation: 
Organize community-led initiatives like tree planting, land restoration, and cultural site preservation.

3. Advocate for the Rights and Safety of the Endorois Community

a) Build Partnerships: Establish partnerships with human rights organizations, legal experts, and community advocates to strengthen advocacy;
b) Advocacy Strategy: Develop a comprehensive advocacy strategy encompassing 
targeted messaging, awareness campaigns, and legal actions against human rights violations;
Awareness Campaigns: Organize workshops, community dialogues, and media campaigns to raise awareness about human rights issues in the Endorois community;
d) Legal Pursuits: Collaborate with legal 
experts and human rights organizations to pursue justice against perpetrators of rights violations. 

4. Empower Community Members

a) Capacity-Building: Conduct workshops and training to enhance the skills and knowledge of elders, PWD, women, and children;
b) Tailored Support Programs: 
Develop initiatives that cater to the specific needs of these groups and promote gender equality;
Gender Awareness: Raise awareness about gender equality through programs and campaigns;
Community Initiatives: Support the establishment of community-led groups, cooperatives, and organizations. 

5. Build Community Capacity for Sustainable Participation

a) Capacity Workshops: Organize sessions focused on project management, leadership, and sustainable development;
b) Community Committees: Support the creation of community-based organizations to 
ensure active community involvement;
c) Knowledge Sharing: Facilitate sessions for community 
members to exchange experiences, best practices, and lessons learned;
d) Monitoring and Evaluation: 
Develop a framework to track progress, address challenges, and ensure project sustainability.

Watch our interview with EIWEN's Executive Director, Christine Kandie:

Azimuth World Foundation is a proud supporter of EIWEN and we urge you to support their work as well.  

We are an ally to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities dealing with matters of access to Health and Water and the protection of the right to maintain traditional ways of living in harmony with Nature.

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