The Mega Boma – The biggest Boma we’ve ever built!
The Born Free Kenya team, working with local communities and partners such as Land Rover, has now built over 160 Lion Proof Bomas (also known as Predator Proof Bomas) in several parts of Kenya and northern Tanzania. Our objective? To reduce the conflict between predators and local communities which arises as a result of predation on livestock.
It is simple really. Lion enters traditional night-time coralle or ‘Boma’ (usually a ring of cut thorn branches), kills goat or cow and escapes with prize. The next day local people seek out a lion, any lion, and kill it in retaliation for their loss.
No one wins. The community may feel a little better but they have still lost their goat or cow. Conservation has lost a lion – and with only about 2,000 in Kenya, every one is precious.
Lion Proof Bomas (LPB) are changing all that. Encircling the traditional ring of cut thorn branches with a simple, 2 meter high wire fence and installing proper ‘doors’ made of old oil drums, beaten flat and attached with ‘flip flop’ hinges, this lo-tech development is proving 100% effective. Livestock losses from LPBs have fallen to zero.
Usually a LPB is made of 8-10 rolls of wire and 40-50 poles. Usually the Boma protects about 200-300 head of livestock and the livelihood of 20-25 people.
But now there is the Mega Boma!
Nearly 30 rolls of wire!
One hundred and twenty poles (and we now exclusively use poles made from recycled plastic which are better for the environment and impervious to termites)!
Night time security for 300 cattle, 500 goats and 15 donkeys!
Home to 60 people – 4 men, 8 women and 48 children and adolescents!
It is an impressive sight and it took just 2 days to build.
And on top of all that, the community not only provided the majority of the labour to create Kapaito Muyantet and his family’s Mega Boma but they contributed 25% of the £2,000 (Ksh 280,000) needed to build it.
We don’t know if we will ever build another Lion Proof Boma as big as this one, located in Eselenkei, not far from Mount Kilimanjaro. But, for sure, we are going to keep on bringing additional security to people, their livestock AND Africa’s lions by building hundreds more Lion Proof Bomas.