Media brief on the ABN national ritual week in Kenya: 25th – 30th June 2020.

As Kenya continues to grapple with rising cases of Covid-19, floods and locust invasion, the world at large is exploring options for dealing with this pandemic. Western medical research solutions are being vigorously pursued. In Kenya, elders from indigenous communities across the country from the Coast, Central, Eastern and the Rift Valley have also been holding consultations to find solutions. These elders believe that solutions lie in addressing the root causes rather than the symptoms which the pandemics represent. The elders have come to the conclusion that there is a need to conduct national seed rituals to heal their land and territory. The elders see the Covid-19 pandemic as a symptom of a very sick planet caused by constant destruction of our environment. The elders have been warning of these crises for many years, yet policymakers across the world are in that denial something is wrong. Until now, the business as usual attitude has prevailed.

This intervention is the outcome of a long period of consultations between the African Biodiversity Network (ABN), communities and community-based organisations. The community-based groups; Institute for Culture & Ecology (ICE), Society for Alternative Learning & Transformation (SALT) and Ngaatho Community Foundation (NCF) have previously led in consultations with elders. Participants will come from communities in Miji Kenda (Coast), Kikuyu (Central Kenya), Kamba and Tharaka (Eastern Kenya), and Maasai (Narok in Rift Valley).

The rituals will start on 25th June, led by Oloibon (the spiritual leader of the Maasai) and close on 30th June 2020 led by Mugwe (the spiritual leader of Tharaka community). This will be an important week for these communities who will be seeking holistic solutions from their ancestral wisdom for the pandemics ravaging the world.

The ABN has been accompanying indigenous communities across 12 African countries to revive their Earth-centred customary laws, indigenous seeds, sacred natural sites, and the general web of life and well-being of their territories in climate-challenged times. The elders will be conducting rituals in sacred natural sites to restore order and the balance of cycles of nature in their territory, the results of which will build a better community and ecosystem resilience in these times of crises.

We call upon policymakers and other stakeholders to incorporate ideas inspired by the wisdom of the indigenous elders. These elders are the true custodians of ancestral wisdom which has sustained the planet over millennia. Ancestral wisdom has an important role to play in protecting biodiversity and human wellbeing.

For more information contact: Simon Mitambo, Regional Programme Coordinator at: +254 (0) 202 675 043/+254 722 135 488/+254 722 923 947. Email at: and Website: