Communities who live in the areas near national parks and sanctuaries also face water shortages and often have encounters with wildlife that can be incredibly damaging to their property, livelihoods and even safety. Especially when resources are scarce, such as periods of drought, elephants and other animals will come to villages in search of food and water and this can have disastrous consequences. Having access to water in the wild can greatly mitigate these occurrences; however, activities such as crop raiding may still occur even when there is food in the wild. Many people farm on a subsistence basis and it is devastating when their crops are destroyed. It is very important to MWT that we work with local communities towards solutions for food, water and economic security.
One of the most important ways visitors to Kenya can support local people is by participating in responsible tourism. Click here to learn more about responsible tourism opportunities in Tsavo.
Early 2019, we will begin our pilot tree nursery project in the village of Kajire, Taita county. Deforestation in the area has led to the land becoming increasingly arid, which adds to the issue of water security in the villages as well as in the park. In addition to that, trees are an important habitat for many animals such as monkeys and birds and their populations have been declining due to lack of forested areas. Planting trees in the communities and park will help with water retention, provide shade and habitat and store carbon which can help mitigate the effects of climate change.
The nursery will be constructed in the public school as a way to incorporate environmental education into the curriculum and actively involve students in growing, caring for, and planting trees in the community. We will be growing species of trees native to the area, and initially planting them in areas allocated for reforestation by the community, as well as encouraging individuals to plant trees on their property. The nursery will have the capacity to grow approximately 10,000 trees, and we expect this tree nursery to provide enough trees to supply sever surrounding communities. Click here to donate Click here to learn about volunteer opportunities
We will be working in the village of Kajire, Taita county to build a reservoir that will collect up to 4 million litres of rainwater that will be accessible to over 1000 people. Women in the community must now travel 4-10 km to collect water, so having a locally based source of water will have a significant impact on their lives as well as improve the lives of all community members by allowing for a community garden. We will work together with an engineer to design a catchment that will be built off of an existing, natural feature.
Much of the farmed land in communities around the parks and sanctuaries is several kilometres from the villages, close to the areas where wildlife lives. This is typically where privately-owned plots of land are, where families grow food through subsistence farming. Unfortunately, being closer to wildlife means more opportunity for conflict and many people have had very negative experiences with wildlife. A group of elephants can destroy the crops of several farms in one evening, which is devastating to families that rely entirely on that food source.
We would like to work towards a solution that reduces this conflict while empowering people to grow food in a sustainable, ecologically responsible way. For this we are working towards community gardens in areas of vacant land within the community that community members will farm collaboratively. Using water from the rock catchment to ensure sufficient crop yields from the farm and having the farms in close proximity to the village means the community will be able to monitor that land and deter animal activity.
Donations are essential to the work of Mwalua Wildlife Trust. Funds are used to deliver water to wildlife, build and maintain water pans, water catchments, water pumps and tree nurseries, and support solutions in communities that will reduce human wildlife conflict. Please consider donating so we can continue our conservation efforts. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our Newsletter to stay informed about our work. DONATE NOW