One of the major threats to lion populations is predation of livestock. When lions attack and kill livestock, the pastoralist community often retaliate by spearing and poisoning the lions. To help solve this problem, the Born Free Foundation is using funds raised from the Pride of Kenya campaign to carry out community outreach campaigns and construct lion proof bomas around Amboseli National Park. This project is being undertaken in partnership with the KWS, Living with Lions, Kenya Wildlife Trust and the Amboseli community. Four such bomas have already been constructed at Risa, Meshanani, Olgulului and Injakta villages.
Unlike the traditional manyatta, lion proof bomas have strong posts placed 3 metres apart, a 1.8 metre high triple twisted chain link fence and firm metal doors. Spiny shrubs are put on both sides of the chain link to strengthen the fence. One lion proof boma can accommodate up to 800 cows and 400 sheep or goats!
Community participation has been excellent, both women and men have actively played their roles in the construction process. Giving up their own time, they dug holes for the fence posts, ferried the spiny shrubs and helped in the general construction process. It was a sigh of relief for many villagers who had been spending sleepless nights outside their manyattas guarding their livestock from predators. This is a win-win situation as community livestock is protected and therefore the lions are safe from persecution.
The construction of lion proof bomas by Born Free is one of the actions prescribed in The 2009-2014 national conservation and management strategy for lions and hyenas in Kenya.
Born Free Kenya
You can help
Three hundred people have already benefitted from new bomas, but many more are required. Can you help? Each boma costs around £1,200. Make a donation or contact Shelley to find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org
Born Free and KWS travelled to Amboseli in the first week of December 2010 and with the help of the community, launched a massive project that will see approximately 7000 livestock being protected from the predators such as lions, hyenas and cheetahs. The project is now complete, all within 10 days! About 600 community members have benefitted.
Ten different villages located in the human-predator hot spots areas were identified, and the community had already started digging the holes and prepared them for the overall construction of the bomas. This was phase two, of the lion-proof boma project that started earlier this year. There were already seven lion-proof bomas around Amboseli, which had proved to be effective in barring predators from entering into people’s homesteads (kraals).
‘’When Born Free came here and took the measurements of my manyatta, I was so overwhelmed with joy. I now know that my livestock will soon be safe and I will be able to sleep peacefully. I am really looking forward to the day when the team will assemble here for us to construct the manyatta together"
Ole Muenta, a village elder at Risa.
Kenyan television covered the project, watch the news report here:
In an effort to support the conservation of lions whose decline has been drastic in Kenya, the Born Free Foundation is delighted to announce that one of the country’s leading hotel groups, Serena Hotels, is partnering with the charity’s Pride of Kenya initiative to both highlight the plight of this increasingly threatened species and raise funds towards their protection. For the full story click here.
View the videos following the Together as One launch below: