In order to constrain increasing human-wildlife conflict and poverty in the Mount Kenya region, fencing Mount Kenya’s National Reserve is of paramount importance.
There are an estimated 2000 elephants that inhabit Mount Kenya today. This population was once able to migrate freely to other habitats in search of important nutrients such as mineral salts. The story is very different now as the boundaries of the National Reserve are densely populated by communities with small-holdings or shambas. As a result, there is a significant and increasing level of human-elephant conflict on the edge of the National Reserve. Elephants raid crops, and in a number of cases cause injury or even death to people protecting their livelihoods.
The Mount Kenya Trust has successfully assisted in constructing over 110 kilometres of secondary elephant fencing. The BWMKT is constantly identifying several additional priority areas on the National Reserve boundary. An area of priority is defined as being an area where the local smallholding community particularly vulnerable to Elephant crop raiding. Crop raiding results in a huge amount of lost income for the community as well as presenting the wider area with considerable food security concerns.
Although these fencing projects are largely funded by the Mount Kenya Trust we also aim to encourage the communities that benefit to share the burden of financial responsibility with us. This will give the community a sense of ownership over the fence. Communities are also asked to supply the labour required to erect the fence and perform regular maintenance in order to keep the fence working at the optimum level.
New areas of concern are always being made aware to us, and the Mount Kenya Trust will always be in need of the support of donors to continue fencing work on the National Reserve boundary.