Sweetwaters Serena Camp

Name of the facilitySweetwaters Serena Camp
Certification AchievedGold
Year opened1990
Tourism regionLaikipia/Samburu
AddressOl Pejeta Conservancy
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Telephone/Mobile+254 734699852
Email[email protected]
Facility NotesSweetwaters Serena Camp is located at Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The camp is specifically located on Global Positioning System (GPS) Coordinates, Latitude 036 56 40.8 and Longitude 000 002 21.0011 N. The camp is located on 50 acres of land leased within the conservancy. It has 56 guest tents with a bed capacity of 120 visitors and a total work force of 110 employees. Ol Pejeta conservancy is managed as a wildlife Sanctuary, including the endangered black and white rhinos, leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion. Other wildlife includes Grevy’s zebra, Jackson’s hartebeest, cheetah and chimpanzee. The Conservancy works to conserve wildlife and provide a sanctuary for Chimpanzees. It aims to generate income through wildlife and tourism enterprises which is invested in conservation and community development.
The camp promotes environmental conservation through remittance of bed night fees, lease fees and conservancy fees to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, who collects funding necessary for wildlife conservation and enhances community development through providing financial assistance to projects on education, health, water, roads, agriculture, livestock Extension and Community-Based Tourism.
Energy managementMain source of power for the Camp is from the Kenya power national grid. However, the facility has two (2) backup diesel generators with an output capacity of 135KvA and 250KvA respectively. The generator servicing hours and fuel consumption are closely monitored. The facility has metered its energy consumption at the main source, and major consumption areas including the laundry and kitchen. It has installed energy saving and Lighting Emitting Diodes (LED) bulbs throughout its premises.
Water heating for the guest rooms is done using solar water heaters. The heaters are boosted by a backup heat calorifier and generator powered electrical heaters and the facility has a solar powered electric fence. LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is used for cooking throughout the facility. Staff and guests are sensitized on energy conservation through departmental meetings (switch off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances) and room information folders in the guest tents
Environmental managementSweetwaters is guided by the Serena Hotels corporate environmental statement which is committed to protecting the environment, monitoring the interests of the local population, practicing a responsible attitude towards resource use and conservation of protected areas. The camp has an Environmental Management System (EMS) with management plans for water, energy and waste.
Chemical useThe facility purchases its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in bulk and stored in two (2) cylinders; weighing (2) two tones with a PSI of 375. Sweetwaters uses bio-degradable chemicals such as Diversy chemicals in its laundry and Eco-boutique shower amenities within the guest rooms. Material Safety Data Sheets for the Chemicals are available. Staff is trained on handling. Henkel chemicals including chlorine and algaecide are used for pool treatments. MSDS for chemicals is available. Fuel (diesel) is stored in two tanks of approximately 9,000 litres.
Conservation Criteria
Community Criteria
Solid waste managementWaste separation is conducted at the source, (guest kitchen) the bins are clearly labelled. Organic waste is given to a local pig farmer contracted by the camp. Plastics, Metallic (tins), Glass waste is stored at the waste management centre waiting disposal through Nairobi Serena Central stores. Water suppliers i.e. Keringet collects its plastic waste after supply. The camp uses 18litres, drinking water dispensers in its staff quarters area, and offices aimed at reducing plastic waste.
Water managementThe main source of water for the Camp is from a borehole under Ol Pejeta Conservancy Management. The water is pumped into two (2) reservoirs; with a total capacity of approximately 90,000 litres. The water is metered at the source (in-let). The tanks are fixed with float switches to switch off the pump and avoid spillage. Rain water harvesting is conducted in two (2) tanks of 5000 litres at the staff quarters. Meter readings are conducted twice (2) daily. The records assist the facility to monitor its consumption and possible leakages.
The Camp encourages its visitors to re-use their towels through their room information sheets aimed at water conservation and reduced use of laundry chemicals. Also, visual signage is mounted in different water use points around the camp. Water efficient appliances such as shower heads fitted with faucets (tap flow reducers) have been installed in the guest rooms. The facility has also embraced dual cistern toilets for its guest tents. Press taps and push taps are fixed in areas such as the guest kitchen. Automatic utensil washer is fitted in the kitchen to enhance efficiency and reduce on water use. Laundry machines are operated at their optimum load to conserve energy and water
Visitor communication & educationThe camp has elaborate room information folders with information on camp operations, environmental policies, and information on Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Guests are briefed upon arrival on the existing activities at the camp and conservancy and the camp’s environmental conservation initiatives
PollutionThe generator is stored in an acoustic body (sound proof room) and fitted with a muffler (sound reducing devices). The facility lights are covered or shaded to reduce light pollution. The kitchen is fitted with a hub for ventilation
Environmental conservationSweetwaters has an environmental day set for the 8th of every month. The day involves sensitization talks on waste, energy and water management and conservation activities such as tree planting whereby willing guests and staff are involved in these activities. The camp has a tree planting program aimed at rehabilitating its environs and it involves nearby schools. Tree planting activities are conducted together with the local community and guests. Additionally, the facility also donates seedlings to the local community.
The facility Naturalist organizes and offers environmental sensitization lectures every evening to guests. Talks include information on Ol Pejeta Conservancy and its conservation efforts. The camp has a tree nursery where it nurtures indigenous seedlings, which are the later planted within the premises. The facility’s architectural design blends with the natural surroundings. Sweetwaters Serena promotes conservation within Ol pejeta through awareness creation on the unique attributes of the conservancy such as the Northern white rhino sanctuary and the Chimpanzee sanctuary. In addition, the camp guides are involved in rhino and lion tracking and monitoring within the conservancy. Low impact activities offered by the camp include nature and bird walks, camel rides. The nature walks are guided by an armed ranger guide.
Waste water managementSwimming pool water is cleaned via vacuum cleaning and backwash system. Backwash is conducted twice a week. Grey water from the kitchen passes through a grease trap before joining the sewer system. Sweetwaters Serena has a waste water treatment plant that caters for both Grey and Black effluent. The waste water treatment plant has three main (enclosed) chambers with various stages of filtration, biological and enzymes treatment. Bio-enzymes are added to facilitate sludge breakdown. The effluent end up in soak pits
Purchasing and suppliesSweetwaters Serena purchases its food products in sustainable ways to reduce on packaging. Fruits and vegetables are packed in re-usable crates. Dry goods such as floor and sugar are bought in bulk 50kg bags. Meat is purchased in cooler boxes.
Employment and remuneration/staff welfareSweetwaters Serena has a staff welfare committee that represents employees’ issues to the management. Daily departmental meetings are held for staff briefing on activities and planning issues
Staff education, communication and awareness trainingThe facility has notice boards used for staff communication. Materials on the notice boards include the environmental policy, mission statement, safety policy and other relevant information.
Cultural preservation and promotion/protection of local sitesThe camp supports various entertainment community cultural groups within the area. Management has established contract with five groups to entertain guests through performances on specific days (Kikuyu, Samburu and Turkana). The hotel pays the performers’ at KSh. 4000 and provides transport to and fro. The facility purchases and sources curios from the local community groups for sale at the curio shop.
Benefits to local community/community empowermentApproximately 30% of the permanent employees are from the local area (within Nanyuki); however, all the casuals are employed from the local villages around the conservancy. The facility offers internship opportunities to students from the local colleges and universities. At least 3 slots are reserved for the local people. The camp has a CSR committee spearheaded by the manager, nurse and heads of departments. An annual plan is formulated followed by specific quarterly activities for the year. Sweetwaters obtains purchases such as fruits and vegetables locally. Local suppliers are given first priority.
The facility remits bed night fees, lease fees and conservancy fees to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The funding is necessary for wildlife conservation and enhances community development through providing financial assistance to different projects on education, health, water, roads, agriculture, livestock Extension and Community-Based Tourism. To complement the Conservancy activities or projects, Sweetwaters Serena has its own corporate social responsibility; the facility invests in education, health, purchasing local products, and Community well-being
Cultural Criteria
Health and safetySweetwaters Serena has a health and safety policy committed to meeting all statutory requirements and complying with occupational health and safety legal requirements. The camp has a health and safety committee spearheaded by the heads of departments (HODS). Quarterly meeting are held. The committee organizes self-audits on health and safety and risk assessments audits. Fire drills are conducted at least twice in a year to enhance the emergency and evacuation plan of the camp. Additionally, staff is sensitized on fire fighting.
The facility has an emergency evacuation plan or procedure placed in the guest tents. Medical check-ups are conducted every six months to all kitchen staff (food and beverage handlers) in the facility. Sweetwaters has received its Health Clearance Certificate from the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation. The camp has an in-house 24hrs clinic and clinical Officer to cater for staff and guest medical health care. Referrals are made to Nanyuki Cottage Hospital.
First aid kits (boxes) are strategically distributed in the main departments such as laundry and kitchen. Firefighting equipment such as fire hydrants, fire extinguishers, kitchen fire blanket, automatic fire suppression appliances are serviced and strategically placed within the facility. Sand buckets are also available to complement the firefighting equipment. The Camp provides PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) or working gear including boots, gloves, and aprons to its repairs and maintenance (R&M). Safety and precautionary signage are fixed in strategic areas within the facility. Smoke detectors and fire alarms are fixed at the guest tents.
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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