Waweru, Dr Peter
I am a lecturer in the field of ecological history specialising in precolonial Africa. In my M.A. (History) my thesis was on how the precolonial Samburu of north-central Kenya ( a predominantly nomadic pastoral community) interacted with their physical environment including wildlife (lions buffaloes, elephants etc) and pests such as tsetse flies, gadflies and ticks. The finding was that this community had a deep understanding of their physical environment and maintained a harmonious relationship with the ecology of their land until the the ecological catastrophe of the last two decades of the nineteenth century overturned this harmony with serious consequences not only for their economic pursuits but also for the the wildlife in the region. The advent of British imperialism, which closely followed these environmental disasters, finally put the last nail in the coffin of this well – balanced, though precarious, ecological balance.