Ololosokwan is a Maasai village with a population of 6,000. Tourism is the major source of income for this region. While the Maasai still lead a predominantly traditional lifestyle, there are increasing challenges in terms of the importance of access to education, healthcare and clean water in the village. Many people live further out in smaller, more remote communities between five km and 20 km (3 to 12 mi) away.
andBeyond took over the lease and operation of the &Beyond Klein’s Camp concession in 1999. The Maasai landlords and most of the &Beyond Klein’s Camp staff come from a village about 10 km from Ololosokwan. Core to &Beyond’s model is protecting wildlife through working closely with communities with a vested interest. We have proven that sustainable conservation can become a reality.
When we first started at Klein’s, Ololosokwan had no healthcare facilities, and the closest clinic was 60 km (37mi) away in a town called Wasso. It was a five to six hour drive from the village, and major concerns were expressed in terms of post and pre-natal difficulties, as well as getting children and the elderly to Wasso. Often, labour complications and a day on a motorbike led to mortalities. With the support of the Africa Foundation, funds were raised to build a clinic in the village.
In 1999, Africa Foundation built a two-room clinic with the village residents providing the labour and land. andBeyond employed a full time doctor, Dr Obed, to be based at the clinic. He impacted the lives of the community in many ways, giving fully of his time and skill. He was seeing up to 30 – 40 patients per day. The clinic was not only serving Ololosokwan but the residents of another three neighbouring villages.
- In 2006 construction of a 10-room facility began, when it became clear that demand far exceeded capacity, and substantial funds were raised for this project.
- In 2010 Africa Foundation built accommodation on the clinic premises to ease the burden on the doctors who were providing 24/7 care.
- At the beginning of 2015 major renovations were done to the facility and it was handed over to the government, who based a doctor and nurse in Ololosokwan village.
- In 2015 solar was added to the accommodation and lighting to a number of the rooms. This further enabled care, in particular safe deliveries of babies.
This is a project we are extremely proud of, as it has changed access to healthcare for community members of Ololosokwan and its surrounding villages.
“Pregnant mothers who used to deliver their babies at home or sometimes on the way to Wasso hospital no longer have to face such a dangerous situation just by having the clinic right here where most of them can come easily and quicker. The journey to Wasso Hospital as the nearest bigger medical facility, 60km away, wasn’t easily reachable especially during rainy seasons when the roads were impassable with flooding rivers. This was a very risky situation for any expectant mother to take.” Dr. Obed.
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