13 September 2022
SAFEGUARDING LIONS AND PEOPLE!
Stephen Melubo, Born Free’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in Amboseli, reports on helping predators and people live together without conflict in southern Kenya.
Born Free’s Pride of Amboseli programme reduces conflict between predators and livestock owners by constructing ‘Predators-Proof Bomas (PPBs)’. We reinforce traditional enclosures for sheep, goats and cattle, focussing on villages most likely to suffer attacks by lions and other predators during the night.
Working with local communities, to date we have created over 360 PPBs within the Amboseli ecosystem and towards the west of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the Tanzanian side. Our reinforced bomas have proven to be a long-lasting solution for predator-livestock conflicts in Amboseli, with far fewer retaliatory killing of lions since our work began in 2010. Our efforts have contributed to an increase in the lion population from 50 to over 140 individuals.
This month, our team has constructed eight new PPBs, with two of these close to the boundary of Amboseli National Park, in Engogu Narok village. Residents of this village, Mangi ole Mbake and Jackson ole Melita, have been experiencing predation of their livestock from hyenas and lions at night for many years. Our team visited them to encourage their participation in our life-saving programme – by fortifying their bomas they could safeguard their main source of livelihood.
Both men contributed a 25% share to the £1,600 cost of the PPBs, with Born Free making up the difference. We also distribute solar lights, water tanks and energy saving jikos (stoves which use less wood to cook food) – components that increase the sustainability of the bomas. The beneficiaries were very grateful to Born Free – they can spend less time guarding their livestock at night!
Ole Mbake called his long-time friend, our Born Free Country Director, Mr Tim Oloo, to give thanks for the good work done by Pride of Amboseli. Meanwhile Ole Melita was excited his children are now able to do their homework at night with the help of the solar lights. His wife, Ann, was very happy to have received the jikos, which saves the family time from collecting firewood and allows them to spend more time together and look after weak livestock left behind due to the drought .
“Our reinforced bomas have proven to be a long-lasting solution for predator-livestock conflicts in Amboseli, with far fewer retaliatory killing of lions since our work began in 2010.”
We need your support to build more reinforced bomas and help communities to live safely alongside wild predators. As we celebrate Born Free’s Year of the Lion, we look forward conserving more lions in the Amboseli ecosystem and mitigating human wildlife conflict.