For many years, residents of Taita-Taveta County have endured the constant nightmare of human-wildlife conflict. In a region that is surrounded by Tsavo East and West national parks, this has seen it turn into a theatre of conflict between man and beast as hundreds of game move in and out of the park, destroying crops worth millions of shillings.
Some of the areas notorious for the human-wildlife conflict include Kishushe, Kasgau, Maktau, Ndara and Jipe.
MAZIDO, a partner of USAID’s SCORE (Strengthening Community Resilience against Extremism) Program, is helping mitigate the conflict from spilling over to other neighbouring counties. The organization has managed to hold a series of community dialogue meetings with government agencies such as Kenya Wildlife Service and stakeholders in the tourism sector in a bid to end the conflict. They have also lobbied the county government to include establishment of County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committee (CWCCC) as provided under the Wildlife Act 2013.
According to John Mlamba, the Executive Director of MAZIDO, several measures have been put in place since they petitioned the county government. Among them is the erection of electric perimeter fence and intensified surveillance operations by the KWS rangers which have minimized the conflicts between the residents and wildlife.
The conflict sensitization meetings with the locals have also seen the community embrace conservation projects aimed at reversing years of environmental degradation resulting from charcoal burning and damage by marauding elephants.
Through SCORE Program, Act! is working with local organizations in Coastal Kenya to build the capacity of communities to address root causes of conflicts and promote peaceful co-existence among communities in Kenya.