Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp

Name of the facilityLake Elmenteita Serena Camp
Certification AchievedGold
Year opened2011
Tourism regionNorth Rift
AddressSoysambu Conservancy along the shores of Lake Elmenteita
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Telephone/Mobile(+254) 732 123333
Email[email protected]
Facility NotesLake Elmenteita Serena Camp is located in Soysambu Conservancy approximately 120 kilometres from Nairobi and 25 Kilometres from Nakuru along the shores of Lake Elmenteita. The camp is specifically situated on Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, Latitude 00024’18’’South and Longitude 36’ 14’ 27’’ East. The camp was established in 2011 owned and managed by Serena Hotels. It has 25 luxury tents with a maximum capacity of 35 beds. It employees a total work force of 45 employees.

The camp’s uniqueness can be attributed to Soysambu conservancy and Lake Elmenteita. The conservancy occupies 48,000 acres of diverse ecological significance. It consists of Lake Elmenteita to the east, dormant volcanic mountain called Ol Doinyo Eburru to the south and Menengai Crater to the north. ‘Soysambu’ is a Masai word which means “the place of striated rock”. The conservancy is a part of the vast Delamere private estate. Lake Elmenteita is a shallow alkaline lake that was designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) in 1999. The lake was profiled as a RAMSAR site in 2005 – a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention (1971) for providing habitat to a myriad of migratory birds and being a significant breeding site for the Great White Pelican. In 2011, Lake Elmenteita was designated as World Heritage Site under United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Energy managementThe main source of energy for the camp is a Kenya Power grid. It is connected to two (2) back-up diesel powered generator with power output capacity of 153 KvA and 160 KvA. Energy metering and sub-metering has been done to departments such as kitchen and guest tents. Recording is done and the data used to collate a ‘utility report’ on weekly basis where consumption analysis is done based on guest occupancy. The camp holds weekly departmental sensitization meetings on resources conservation while guests are briefed on energy conservation upon arrival.
Solar powered water heaters are used for guest water heating. In total the facility has 25 water heating systems with a capacity of 600 litres. Energy saving bulbs and LED’s are installed while facility security floodlights are on sensors to enhance energy conservation.
Environmental managementThe camp is guided by the Serena Hotels corporate environmental statement, which has emphasis on improving local people’s welfare, environmental management on water, energy and waste and upholding environmental conservation.
The facility has an environmental management system and operations standard operating procedures with guidelines on environmental conservation, water usage, energy conservation and waste management. It also incorporates health and safety, community wellbeing and staff responsibilities.
Chemical useThe facility has automated and programmed laundry washing machines. This ensures efficiency in water use, energy and chemical consumption. Biodegradable bathing amenities and laundry chemicals are used and Material Safety Data Sheets for the chemicals are available. Interviews showed the staff is also well trained and conversant with the use of equipment, chemical handling, water and energy conservation.
Gas is bought in bulk in a five (5) tone cylinder, the storage area is caged, away from human dwellings and precautionary signage well fixed
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste managementOrganic waste – food waste – is sorted at the source and stored at the waste management centre. It is given to a local pig farmer from neighbouring Kasambara village (who collects it daily). Other waste (plastics, metallic waste, cartons) is separated at source using clearly labelled bins and put in the waste management centre for further segregation. The waste is later collected by ‘a local approved waste collector’ for disposal. Medical waste such as sharps is collected in medical safety boxes and taken to Gilgil District Hospital for incineration.
In an attempt to reduce waste, the facility re-uses all its glass bottles for drip irrigation on its tree planting program and waste tetra pact material for seedlings germination.
Water managementThe main source of water for the camp is from NARWAS Nakuru Rural Water and Sanitation Company. The water is stored in two reservoirs of 250,000 litres; it is filtered and chlorinated for treatment before pumping to the entire premises. A water meter has been installed at source to monitor usage. Daily meter readings and recording is done.
Visitors are sensitized on water conservation through room information folders while “towel talk” signs are placed in the guest tents encouraging visitors on the re-use of towels, to promote water conservation.
Visitor communication & educationVisitors are briefed upon arrival on the camp’s operations and environmental values. The guest cottages are equipped with room information folders to brief the visitors on operations of the camp. Active interaction and environmental sensitization is also achieved through guided nature walks, village visits, game drives and bird watching sessions.
PollutionThe guest kitchen is fixed with a kitchen hub for proper ventilation and the pathways are lit using low wattage bulbs at night to reduce on light pollution. A muffler (soundproofing device to prevent noise pollution) has been installed in the Generator. The generator is regularly serviced and only used as a back-up.
Environmental conservationThe architectural design for Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp blends in with the natural environment. The guest tents are made from beige canvas tents that blend in with the surrounding.
The facility encourages visitors to car-pool in the camps’ land cruisers rather than use their personal vehicles hence ensuring minimum vehicles going out into the conservancy. Guests who insist on using their own vehicles are accompanied by the camps’ guides to ensure they do not off drive into environmental sensitive areas e.g. nesting areas for the pelicans.
Lake Elmenteita Serena engages on roadside clean up through litter collection exercises along the Nakuru-Naivasha highway. For example; on 5th October 2013 the Camp in conjunction with Echariria, Kiboko and Kasambara primary Schools, and Soysambu Conservancy conducted a cleanup exercise along the highway. The activity was aimed at creating public awareness on responsible waste management.
The facility contributes conservancy fees of 47 USD per guest per night. The monies are paid for Soysambu Conservancy management and operations.
In addition, the camp has a re-afforestation program to restock the premises and surrounding primary schools with indigenous tree species. Over the past three years, the facility has planted over 5000 tree seedlings. The seedlings are bought from the local farmers and nurtured at the camp’s tree nursery. In addition the camp received over 2, 000 seedlings donated by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) to supplement their nursery. Tree planting activities involves Lake Elmenteita Serena staff, guests and local primary schools such as Kiboko and Echariria Primary Schools.
Waste water managementGrey waste water from the guest rooms, laundry and Staff quarters is managed through an aerobic waste water treatment system. The system has 5 (five) co-joined compartments; sedimentation occurs in the 1st chamber, aerobic digestion is facilitated by introduction of bacteria in the 2nd chamber, (heavy sludge is pumped into the 1st chamber) the effluent flows into the 3rd chamber where sludge is further digested, filtration and chlorination occurs in the 4th and overflows to the 5th chamber.
Grey water from the kitchen is managed through a 4 (four) compartment grease trap while the swimming pool is cleaned via scrubbing, brushing and the backwash system. PH (alkalinity and acidity) is checked on twice a day. Backwashing is done after two weeks or depending on pool use.
All black water is managed in same sewer system with grey water as explained above. The sewage system comprises of sewer line, access man holes, and a 5 (five) block co- joined compartments treatment plant
Purchasing and suppliesMeat is bought and packed in cool boxes. Fruits and vegetables are packed in re-usable crates.
Employment and remuneration/staff welfareThe staff is sensitized and briefed during departmental/daily briefing meetings. There is a staff committee in place that deal with The staff is sensitized and briefed during departmental/daily briefing meetings. T
Staff education, communication and awareness trainingAll employees are taken through the induction program which covers their orientation on Serena operations. In addition they are issued with an employee’s handbook which summarizes the do’s and don’ts. Further communication is emphasized through staff notice boards.
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sitesThe facility Naturalist informs clients on the cultural information within the area.
Benefits to local community/community empowermentThe camp provides employment opportunities to the locals- all the casuals are hired from the local community. About 50% of the permanent employees are hired locally. Purchases are also done locally where possible; whereby fruits and vegetables are bought from a natural spring in Majimoto Village through Majimoto Youth Group initiative; and the camp encourages the youth group by providing seeds to them. It also buys its entire staff fish from the group who run a fish pond. i.e. (purchases about 50 pieces, supplied on a weekly basis). Further, they support the youth group by sending its visitors to visit the spring at a cost of Kshs. 500 payable to the group.
Lake Elmenteita runs a community health education program (HIV awareness) led by the resident nurse in Mbaru Village and has also facilitated in the upgrading of a local police station through housing system improvements. Staff benefits include; food, uniform, entertainment centre, transport, health care and accommodation.
Cultural Criteria
Health and safetyLake Elmenteita Camp has a health and safety committee that spearheads all health and safety issues within the facility. It undertakes risk analysis at work place on quarterly basis. The committee meets monthly. There is also a radio call system connection to all senior staff, security staff and an emergency response to police. The guests’ tents have a call log and telephone in place. The visitor’s information booklet contains information on emergency procedures. Safety and precautionary signage is well fixed in areas such as swimming pool and gas storage.
The camp has a clinic and a 24hrs resident nurse on duty for the staff and the guests’ health care and an adequate team of six (6) first aiders evenly distributed within the camp. First aid kits are also fixed within the main departments such as the staff quarters. Medical check-ups are conducted every six months for all kitchen staff (food and beverage handlers) in the facility to ascertain their health fitness, and in compliance with the Food, Drugs, and Chemical substances Act. Cap 254
Lake Elmenteita Serena has subscribed to SGS audits for its food safety and hygiene (Société Générale de Surveillance), a world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and Certification Company.
Fire-fighting equipment including fire extinguishers, fire hose rails, automatic fire extinguishers, and fire blanket in the kitchen are strategically placed and serviced. The facility has an elaborate fire-fighting system consisting of fire stations between every two tents complete with two portable extinguishers, fire alarm and a hose reel. A fire assembly point is clearly fixed while fire drills are regularly conducted to enhance emergency response. At least 80% of the staff is trained on fire fighting.
The facility provides protective gear / PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as boots, uniform, gloves, apron to the staff.
Child labor, abuse and human rightsThe facility does not employ any person below the legal working age of 18 years.
Business Practises Criteria
Entry Date13th March 2018

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