29 October 2012
Categories: Homepage News, Kenya News
The Born Free Foundation started building lion-proof bomas in Amboseli in 2010, and since then the local community has seen numerous benefits from the project. Last year, Born Free, in consultation with community members, introduced a cost-sharing scheme, whereby the communities contribute a percentage of the cost of each boma. This scheme has so far benefited nearly 200 people. The cost-sharing initiative has two advantages. Firstly, it gives the community members a sense of ownership, and secondly it enables more community members to benefit from the project. To our delight, while all this was happening, one community member, called Mzee Sakimba Ole Kishil, has gone a step further and built a boma entirely on his own initiative!
On our last visit, we met Mzee Sakimba and learnt that he has been attending Born Free’s outreach campaigns and lion-proof boma construction exercises, all in silence. This year, he decided to put what he had learned and observed into practice, setting an impressive example to the wider community. Mzee Sakimba told us that he took his three goats to Kimana market, sold them and used the money to purchase two lengths of chain-link fencing wire, a metal sheet and posts. He then engaged a local technician to help him construct a lion-proof boma to protect his remaining sheep and goats. Such an initiative this has never happened before!
“I have lived here for over 40 years with lions and hyenas taking away my livestock. As far as I can remember, I have lost 27 goats, 15 sheep and 60 cows to predation over the years," said Mzee Sakimba. He continued to say, “Recently, I decided enough is enough, no more loss. I took a positive action by improving my boma. Unlike before, I sleep well and I have not lost any of my goats and sheep again.”
And he had a message to villagers, "I would like to advise the rest of the villagers who are able to take up the challenge to reinforce their own bomas”.
Namelok-Kimana is one of the main areas where Born Free and African Wildlife Foundation are jointly mobilizing the community to adopt the lion-proof boma as a way of reducing livestock loss to predators.