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Saturday 8th March 2014
If you have followed our news blogs, many of you will know that LionAid is proposing to conduct an innovative predator/livestock damage mitigation project in Kenya.
We are pleased to present to you today this short video which explains a little more about this work and below we will explain why it is so important.
Over 100 lions a year are killed in Kenya as a result of retaliatory killings by rural communities,
particularly in areas where community land adjoins protected areas like National Parks and National Wildlife Reserves.
These communities are now suffering from debilitating losses of their valuable livestock to predation incidents.
Look at the photographs in the video above and just imagine how you would feel if you woke up in the morning to find your livestock destroyed and your cattle enclosures trashed. Maybe difficult to imagine? For you and I,this would be like waking up to find our bank accounts plundered overnight - but with little recourse to compensation.
Believe it or not, these wildlife retaliatory killings represent the last resort of people who feel theyhave nowhere else to turn to protect their livelihoods. In Kenya, 70% of wildlife occurs outside protected areas – on community land.
To add to this, the spectre of wildlife crime is now rearing its ugly head. What better recruiting ground for the criminal syndicates who need foot soldiers than disaffected communities?
This vicious circle needs to be broken. Not only to safeguard the community, but also to ensure that healthy populations of wildlife can co-exist with livestock on community land.
Here the big benefit of such peaceful co-existence comes into play. It paves the way for additional future sustainable employment for the communities themselves from eco-tourism and conservancy ventures.
We need a sustainable scheme that compensates the communities reliably, fully and promptly for any livestock losses to predation whilst, at the same time, ensuring that their livestock enclosures (bomas) are adequately protected.
The scheme highlighted in the video above is the concept of the Maasai communities themselves and has their full support. They will run the scheme themselves
and will decide the rules of their constitution. Their council of Elders, crucially, will decide case by case if any reported predation incidents are genuine.
Once bomas are adequately protected with flashing lights,experience has shown that predation incidents drop by a margin of at least 70%.
This means that the insurance herd (see video for details) has the potential to breed and provide a profit to the communities. These profits can be distributed back to community members at the discretion of the Council of Elders.
We are delighted to say that this scheme has met with the full approval of the Kenya Government
through the County Governor of Kajiado in Kenya( pictured right with LionAid), who has welcomed the interventions we are putting in place “to ensure that …conflict is mitigated in an environmentally sustainable way”.
Please DONATE if you can and help us put together this scheme which can be replicated all over Africa – wherever predator/livestock conflict occurs.
Posted by Chris Macsween at 19:19
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