It was the landowners, in what was then “Koiyaki Block 4”, who decided to come together and jointly lease their land in order to form the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. It is due to their cooperative efforts that the possibility of forming a conservancy became a reality. They set the wheels in motion for the empowerment of their communities and the conservation of the land and wildlife.
The population distribution around the Mara Naboisho Conservancy is estimated to be a little fewer than 23,000 people (roughly 4,900 households). The Maasai have maintained a pastoral way of life, co-existing with wildlife for several thousands of years. Livestock farming is the main source of livelihood and income for the landowners who have leased their land to create Mara Naboisho. The creation of the conservancy is an opportunity not only to conserve the wildlife, which is under threat from human activities and land-use changes, but will also help to diversify the livelihoods of the Maasai so that they can cope with the climatic fluctuations that are common in the drylands. Currently approximately 500 landowners are receiving 14,000 Kenyan Shillings (± US$165) on average per month in lease fees from the tourism investors. Some landowners are members of additional conservancies, such as Olare Orok, Motorogi and Ol Kinyei, where they also receive lease fees.
The landowners are paid on a monthly basis by bank transfer into their personal accounts. Unlike the old system, in which the chiefs were paid and it was up to them to distribute the money, this new system ensures that each member is paid their share. The same system has been successfully implemented in other conservancies.