When we launched our #Fences4Kenya campaign, we were overwhelmed with gratitude when the money was quickly raised to build the first three yards of the African habitat. We immediately purchased the first load of steel piping for fences, and our team got to work.
Then, 2020 happened. Like the rest of the world, things this year didn’t go as planned. COVID hit, the cost of anything steel went up, and materials became harder to find. Our plans of bringing in an outside team to come here to weld were put on hold as we waited to learn more about the pandemic. We assessed how safe it would be to bring in a construction team from outside of our sanctuary bubble. During this time it became clear that for everyone’s safety, it wasn’t an option.
A few weeks later, our backhoe broke. It should’ve been a quick repair, but nothing is ‘normal’ right now. The only garage in this area that does this kind of work closed for over a month due to staff illness. COVID-related manufacturing delays then compounded things and it took months for the part to arrive once they were back in business. Our backhoe was repaired just as the dry season made the property dangerously dry, and we couldn’t weld due to extreme fire risk. Unfortunately, the dry season became the longest on record, and we ended up battling a wildfire that originated on someone else’s property. Once the rains finally began, we couldn’t immediately start working on fences again as we desperately needed our maintenance team working to repair infrastructure after the blaze.
We are thrilled to share, although a little scared to say it out loud, that we are back to working hard on Kenya’s fences again. One positive change that 2020 brought is they are no longer just fences for Kenya anymore. They are now Kenya, Kuky, & Pupy’s fences. ❤️ It’s a less catchy hashtag, but a tremendous change that will impact all three lives.
Yard 1 fencing is fully complete. We are now working on the second and third yards. Since they are attached, one side of each remaining yard will be completed before beginning it, which will cut down on construction time. All the steel we need to complete the habitat has been purchased and delivered, which is one less thing that can go wrong. After this past year, that brings a significant amount of comfort.
The video here is a little bit older – we filmed it for a fence update we were working on months ago. We ended up delaying the post but still wanted to share the video of steel posts going up. They are still going up in the same way, but we don’t have any recent videos of it to share. Right now we are in the ‘line laying’ and ‘hole spacing’ phase of construction, which doesn’t make for as nice of a video ? . We want to make sure everyone knows Scott filmed it before COVID, which is why our team isn’t wearing masks and the habitat looks different. Everyone here wears masks when they are working around other people or the elephants. ❤️
After everything the past few months, we don’t want to give an updated timeline on when the African habitat fences might be completed, but they are an important priority. We are dreaming and hoping that 2021 will go smoother for everyone in the world -including in our little sanctuary bubble.