Kenya Masai Community Project
The Masai Mara is one of the most famous wildlife reserves in the world, an important ecological area and the venue for the Great Wildebeest Migration. Any effort to protect ecosystems such as this, however, has to include the local community. Exodus, along with our local partners in Kenya, have been supporting projects in the Masai Mara region for over 9 years after the owner of one of the camps who also works for Exodus brought to our attention the plight of a local school in the nearby town of Aitong which was not recognised by the authorities and, therefore, did not benefit from government funding. The local school was only the first project Exodus worked on in the area.
In areas such as the Masai Mara human-animal conflict can be a serious problem. Local farmers depend on their crops and livestock for their livelihood so when predators kill livestock, farmers feel that the only way of protecting their cattle, goats and sheep is by attacking and poisoning predators in return. This latest development of our Masai Mara project aims at protecting the livestock from predators thereby protecting both the farmer’s livelihood and the local wildlife.
To learn more about our project, then visit our Masai Mara Wildlife evening presentation where our very own Paul Goldstein will provide more information about our intended support in this area.
WHAT IS THIS PROJECT ALL ABOUT? Click here to find out ...
Exodus has been organising wildlife safaris to the Masai Mara for many years. Along with our local partners in Kenya, who are passionate about improving the lives of the local population who inhabit the region surrounding the reserve, we have supported on a number of projects. Over the years these projects have included a number of small schools (Aitong Primary, Enkorien, Ballenites, Endonyo Rinka), the CMF Aitong Health Clinic and the Mara Discovery Centre.
The latest project Exodus are supporting attempts to deal with an issue arising from human-wildlife conflict, namely the attack on livestock by predators. During the day herdsmen are generally effective at keeping predators at bay. The bigger problem arises at night. Many homesteads keep their livestock in enclosures made of cut-thorn bushes. These can prove fairly ineffectual in keeping predators out, they are also fairly weak and livestock, startled by nearby lions, can easily break free of these enclosures and scatter.
One possible solution is to build stronger enclosures using poles and chainlink fences. Building these fences high enough prevents predators being able to leap into the enclosure whilst using sufficient poles reduces the risk of cattle stampeding out. Such fences have proven successful in protecting livestock in other areas of Kenya.
These fences have a number of advantages. Firstly, as is their main aim, they reduce the number of predatory attacks on livestock thereby protecting the livelihood of the local population. Secondly, this increased security for the livestock means that local farmers do not feel that the only way to protect their livelihood is by attacking wild predators. Finally these enclosures do not use cut-thorn bushes thereby reducing the need to cut these bushes down and preventing depletion of this local resource.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO ACHIEVE THIS YEAR? Click here to find out ...
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP?
1) If you are planning on visiting Kenya on one of our trips, please make everyone in your group aware of what Exodus is doing. Help us spread the word!
If you would like to make a donation this can be done in cash whilst you are at the camp, or via Friends of Conservation in the UK.
Would you like to know more?
Paul Goldstein, our resident and award-winning photographer, holds regular talks in the UK on the amazing wildlife of the Masai Mara. You can contact Paul direct on firstname.lastname@example.org
Update on 2011
The project achieved the following in 2011
Update on 2009
In 2009 Exodus raised over GBP24,000 for the Masai Community Project. Over GBP16,000 of this was raised by Paul Goldstein at a special Mara evening in December at the Royal Geographical Society in Kensington, London, in conjunction with Travel Africa Magazine, and renowned travel journalist Simon Calder and wildlife expert Chris Haslam.