Tom Lalampaa blasts his fellow Africans as monkeys
Tom Lalampaa is the CEO of the Kenyan Northern Rangelands Trust. He has been a controversial figure in Kenyan politics. Cattle herding, poaching and animal conservation are highly contested issues Kenya-wide. Lalampaa has made enemies, may accusing him of being a “puppet” of special interests based mainly in Europe and Asia.
From his bio:
Tom Lalampaa is a leading African conservationist born in West Gate Community Conservancy in Samburu, Kenya. He has inspired many through his quest to champion for community conservation across the country. Tom has been instrumental in the design, development, and growth of the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), which now comprises 43 community owned and run conservancies, covering nearly 63,000 square kilometers of northern and coastal Kenya.
His work focuses on helping rural communities that are hosting, conserving, and protecting Kenya’s wildlife outside formal protected areas to strengthen their governance structures as well as their wildlife conservation, economic development, and peace building efforts.
From the NRT website:
NRT serves its member conservancies. These are local institutions run for and by indigenous people to support the management of community-owned land for the benefit of improving livelihoods. As institutions, community conservancies not only give people a voice, but provide a platform for developing sustainable enterprise and livelihoods either directly or indirectly related to conservation.
To his credit Lalampaa has established a number of successful and thriving wildlife refugees, particularly for elephants across northern Kenya.
Lalampaa is also close friends and an ally of Republic of Kenya President William Samoei Ruto. He has served as Kenya’s President since June of 2022. He is a member of the United Democrat Alliance which stands in opposition to controversial Kenyan past President (and ally of Barack Obama), Raila Odinga.
Interestingly, President Ruto is a naturalist and has a PhD in ecology. He has authored a number of papers on Kenyan wildlife preservation. Ruto has been involved in numerous scandals over the years, mainly involving land disputes and acquisitions.
Turkana: Land of the Leakeys
There is an ongoing dispute with indigenous cattle herders in the Turkana region of northwest Kenya. Lake Turkana is an enormously important area in paleo-anthropology. It is where a number of hominin finds have been uncovered in the last 60 years, mainly by the Leakey family including Louis and Mary, to former Kenyan Wildlife Minister Richard Leakey, to his wife Mary, and finally to the new generation of fossil hunters led by Meave Leakey.
The famous Turkana boy, Homo erectus skeleton was discovered by Kenyan fossil hunter employed by the Leakeys, Kamoya Kemeu in 1984.
From the Smithsonian:
The ‘Turkana Boy’ skeleton has allowed scientists to find out a lot of information about body size, body shape, and growth rates of Homo erectus. This skeleton is 40% complete, based on the principle that bones from one side of the body can tell what the same bone from the other side looked like even if it’s missing.
The Turkana Boy’s species made and used stone tools. The tools known from 1.6 million years ago in the Turkana Basin included simple stone cores and flakes but also large cutting tools such as handaxes.
“This taka taka page is a monkey gimmick”
One of the organizations supporting local indigenous land rights and access to water for their cattle, recently worked up a website listing objections to policies of Lalampaa and his Northern Rangelands Trust.
Lalampaa responded forcefully. From a Twitter account of “passionate environmentalist” Violet Matiru, June 10:
Waah! This is how Tom Lalampaa, CEO of the neocolonial outfit created by The Nature Conservancy TNC @nature_org
The Northern Rangelands Trust NRT @NRT_Kenya talks! Surely, is this the language of the head of an organization that claims to promote peace among communities
“Little man syndrome…”
Others on Twitter responded:
Power and greed has gone to his head. Most of these sellouts of his caliber have the little man syndrome. Very insecure and eager to please the colonizer. Sanity, humanity decency and simple courtesy be damned! It’s a sham — Duke of Olopito
Tom Lalampaa is helbent on grabbing our land resources has grown horn, because he’s eating leftovers from the neocolonial master called Ian Craig. Calling his fellow Africans monkeys-yes the good people of Turkana community have refused his IDIOTIC IDEAS.
The Turkana Peoples Rights committee have since demanded:
48 HRS GIVEN TO TOM LALAMPAA TO APOLOGIZE TO THE TURKANA COMMUNITY IS ELAPSING
That was on June 12, and Lalampaa has not responded to the demand.
Short video (in Swahili) of local Turkana People protesting land grabs in northwestern Kenya at YouTube.