Scholar Profile - Peter Lokitela
Background: I was born and brought up in an area where access to education was limited, due to harsh environmental conditions and nomadic way of life of the Turkana community. As a young boy growing up in a community where cattle-rustling and wildlife hunting was a way of practising how to become a good raider, I struggled to accept this way of life. I never wanted to participate in any hunting or trapping of wild animals because I felt sympathetic towards wildlife and birds.
Education: Thanks to an NGO, I was able to join school. After high school, I lacked the fees to attend university and so joined Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) as a ranger recruit, undergoing paramilitary training. Following my 15-year career with KWS, I studied for and achieved a Diploma in Tourism and Wildlife Management from Moi University. I was then awarded a scholarship by Kenya Wildlife Trust to study for a BSc in Dryland Natural Resources Management from Africa Nazarene University. I graduated in 2016 and am now studying for my MSc in Environment and Natural Resources Management at the same University.
Passion for conservation: My passion for conservation grew while working with KWS and after witnessing the degradation of environment due to poaching and other issues. Over those fifteen years, I realized that my passion for conserving the environment is a calling that I am destined to follow.
How I benefitted from a Kenya Wildlife Trust Scholarship: I have been able to pursue my dreams to become a wildlife conservation leader in Kenya; I am now a Natural Resource Management professional with a BSc degree and look forward to achieving my Masters degree in Environment and Natural Resource Management.
Professional Awards: During my time serving with the Kenya Wildlife Service, I earned two presidential (National) Awards – the Silver Star of Kenya and the Head of State Commendation, alongside several other commendations from the organization, for successfully leading teams in anti-poaching security operations.
Hobbies and interests: I enjoy participating in community and environmental conservation activities, travelling and meeting new people, swimming, reading motivational books, athletics and listening to music.