LVSB - Lake Victoria Sunset Birders

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This is the department entitled with the dissemination and extension of conservation education that will depict the objective of Lake Victoria Sunset Birders (L.V.S.B.). The department enjoys a lot of support from its partners like Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service and even the Community Environmental Committees formed and trained by the department in collaboration with its partners for L.V.S.B.

Goal: “To promote environmental conservation through education”

Click to enlarge
An LVSB member educating a local school’s conservation club.

Main activities...

  • Community outreaches; Churches, Markets, School and Kisumu C.B.D.A..
  • Outreach through T-shirts in exhibitions.
  • Coming up with extension cum income generating activities like the T-shirt sales.
  • Organizing public exhibitions that will enhance conservation awareness in the community.
  • Harmonizing the information to be disseminated in the outreaches.
  • Designation and provision of I.E.C. materials used in disseminations.
  • Carrying out any other educational functions subjected by the L.V.S.B. projects.
  • Production of a Quarterly Newsletter for disseminating conservation education to the public and schools.
  • Organize for capacity building of the L.V.S.B. members.
  • Conducting road shows in the market places and other avenues for maximal conservation education to the public.
  • Organize for exchange programs with other conservation organizations


All the members who are legibly L.V.S.B. members shall be at their own interest free to join the Education and Exhibition department. The Education and Exhibition department shall form a committee comprising of responsible and accountable officials in order of merit out of the legible members of the department.

The challenges

The Wetland, Dunga Swamp, home for the endemic Birds species is a fertile and biodiversity rich area. The fertility has made the region one of the most densely populated areas in Kisumu. More than 85 percent of this population depends on fishing, basketry and subsistent agriculture as its primary livelihood strategy.

Despite the region’s natural wealth of resources, it still remains one of the poorest regions in Kisumu. Local people have suffered insecurity and extreme poverty for many decades. Barns on fishing are one of the region’s worst crises, which lead to many homes going hungry without food. The welfare of the people of Dunga area will depend on the natural resources and ecological integrity of the wetland, as well as foreign revenue from sources such as ecotourism in the area

The Roles of the Department

Birds’ conservation efforts in Dunga area are a clear example of how ongoing, long-term collaboration between conservation organizations can succeed. Through the coalition between; L.V.S.B., Nature Kenya, OSIENALA, Rufford Small Grants for conservation, I.U.C.N., African Birds Conservation and Nile Basin Initiative, the population of the Dunga Birds has not only survived but also grown. Tran-villages collaboration between; Dunga village, Nyalenda village and Nyamasaria Village, is at the heart of its success.

Through policy-based monitoring, community development, anti-pelting activities and habitat conservation, L.V.S.B. is helping the endemic species make a comeback. Its strength lies in the coordinated approach. Activities are closely linked to the needs and plans of the individual villages through collaboration with local authorities in the entire region. The department also works closely with the local people to ensure that they reap the benefits of conserving this wetland habitat.

Predators and Threats

The primary threat to the birds of Dunga wetland comes from wetland clearance and degradation as the area’s growing population struggles to eke out a living. The L.V.S.B. was founded to safeguard the endangered endemic bird species in Dunga important Bird area. L.V.S.B. works in three levels; Strengthening bird habitat protection through area collaboration, researching the dynamic between the human activities and the natural habitat/birds, and working with local communities to develop livelihood strategies that are complementary to conservation objectives. This coalition has been a tremendous success but support is still greatly needed.

Reason to hope

The Dunga wetland features the last remaining habitats of one of the Kenya’s rarest birds, papyrus gonolek. These species are the flagship species for the conservation of the entire array of wildlife and habitat that make up this unique part of the country. L.V.S.B. has been working to protect the birds for a decade. This important job has continued despite extraordinary circumstances. Thanks to the Dunga and Nyamasaria communities that have over the years adapted to conservation based livelihoods.

Continuing threats

Despite reasons for optimism, death and extinction are constant threats for the endemic species of Dunga birds. Historically, the birds have been threatened by pelting, loss of habitat from population pressures and spread of diseases like the avian flu. Efforts by the Department have ensured that the birds endure. L.V.S.B. works with local people to ensure that both the birds and the people benefit from the conservation process. One program teaches hygiene and sanitation to improve health while another one works with the locals to ensure that they are informed about how best they can reap benefits from conservation via ecotourism. Other programs still within L.V.S.B. major on the communities’ (schools, churches and individuals) involvement in conservation.

Funding research and programs to protect these magnificent birds and conserve their habitats is vital. Despite the good news of the community’s involvement in conservation, endemic species are still critically endangered. We must not be Complacent. With continued international cooperation and funding, L.V.S.B. and its partners will continue to protect this fragile species.

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