Human-wildlife conflict is a complex issue that is rarely easy to solve. This is particularly true for Mbulia in Taita-Taveta County, Tsavo Kenya. Being, many incidents of human-elephant conflict are recorded every year, undermining food security and destroying the lives of many people as well as injuring and killing wildlife. Small subsistence farmers, who are vulnerable to elephant raids destroying crops and property, effectively devastating their livelihoods, inhabit the surrounding area.
Mbulia is unique, being critical dry season elephant habitat in the Tsavo ecosystem and owned by a collection of more than 3,000 individuals, combined into a large ranch that can economically benefit from wildlife through tourism. However the risks from elephants to humans and humans poaching wildlife still remained. Amara and Mbulia’s approach was to fence the Conservancy, minimizing contact and consequent conflicts.
Through the generosity of individual donors and a successful grant application from US Fish and Wildlife African Elephant Conservation Fund, Amara was able to complete the 22.5 kms of elephant proof electric fence joining Mbulia to Tsavo West national park.
We are happy to report that the fence was completed in April 2016 and has already been successful reducing wildlife conflict between Tsavo West’s fauna and the neighboring communities, securing the communities livelihoods, allowing the next crop to ripen without getting destroyed by the park’s wildlife.
The problems in the greater Tsavo Conservation Area are compounded by a wide range of issues from poor land use planning, a history of poaching and current political challenges. Resolving these conflicts will take the combined efforts of the Amara team and the communities living in Tsavo with support of people dedicated to save Africa’s wildlife. Through our mutual will and commitment to our natural heritage, we are confident that Amara is on the right track paving the way to long-term solutions for conservation.