In this edition.....

  1. From GM’s Desk
  2. Bioken Snake farm – Watamu
  3. Graffiti at Turtle Bay
  4. Vegan Dishes Turtle Bay
  5. Internship for Students
  6. Stage Park
  7. Turtle Bay’s Community Projects
  8. Sokoke Forest MTD Challenge 2019
  9. Now You Sea Turtles
  10. Kenya Tourism Board New Identity
  11. Uhuru Kenyatta Bans Single Use Plastic
  12. New Notes
  13. Kenya Airways Resumes Malindi Flights
  14. Kenya Airways and Delta Deal to US

Bio-Ken is a snake farm, laboratory and research centre, specializing in snakes, snakebite and venom production. James Ashe and his wife Sanda set up Bio-Ken in Watamu in 1980. It was of course compulsory for the Ashes to hold good quality antivenom for themselves and their staff. They sourced and kept good quality antivenom and always had it in case of emergencies.

In the early days of Bio-Ken, residents in the Watamu neighbourhood would bring snakebite victims to the snake farm for help when they realized that neither the local witchdoctor nor the doctor could help. The Ashes had no option but to give the patient the antivenom, knowing that person could not pay for it. Bio-Ken could not afford this on a regular basis either and so the Watamu Antivenom Fund was set up by local residents to help. It helped but it never came close to covering the cost of the antivenom being used. JAAT was set up shortly after James Ashe passed away in 2004.

The goal of JAAT is to reduce the number of unnecessary deaths and disability caused by snakebite by providing the correct antivenom and information. The government hospitals do not stock the correct antivenom, which means, put simply, many people die or become disfigured due to lack of treatment. This has been and remains a very challenging project, but we are constantly encouraged by the success we are having, especially in our area.

If a person is bitten by a venomous snake and they receive the correct antivenom and supportive treatment without delay they will make a full recovery. If they do not they will either die or suffer permanent disability, depending on the species which bit them. The other problem is the cost. The majority of people who get bitten are unable to afford the treatment. JAAT buys the antivenom, which saves their lives.

JAAT keeps antivenom in key places in Kenya, although the majority of the work is done along the coast. It sits with trusted doctors who have been trained at Bio-Ken on how to deal with snakebite envenoming. Most bites are treated by doctors with one of us from Bio-Ken on the end of the phone.

The antivenom purchased by JAAT is for treating people who would otherwise go untreated due to the huge cost. The Trust has only one expense and that is antivenom. All the work is done voluntarily and all the admin, transport and communication costs are covered by Bio-Ken. Often the medical facility where the patient is being treated will waiver the additional costs out of goodwill, making the total cost of a potentially fatal snakebite, completely free thanks to JAAT.

To donate contact Shafiq Ebrahimjee (A trustee) at

Royjan Taylor
Founding Trustee – JAAT
Director – Bio-Ken (Africa) Ltd

The James Ashe Antivenom Trust
Bio-ken Snake Farm, P.O. Box 3, 80202
Watamu, Kenya

TEL : +254 718 290 324 / 729 403 599

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