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Electric Fence Brings Hope To Health Centre In Arjiju, Mukogodo Forest

Mr Stephen Njoroge is the Health Officer in charge of Arjiju Health Center in Mukogodo, that has been fenced as part of Disney Project in Mukogodo Landscape.

My name is Stephen Njoroge, I am the doctor in charge of the Arjiju Community Health Centre. I came to Makurian Group Ranch, about five years ago.

When I first got here, this facility was experiencing a lot of challenges. Insecurity, human-wildlife conflict, lack of a maternity ward and there was an acute lack of water in the hospital.

There was a great challenge of insecurity because of free-roaming wild animals and especially the elephants. In fact, community members could not visit the health centre at night for fear of attack by wild animals.

Water was also an issue, a big one! This health centre was a hotspot because it had water tanks and made it a prime spot for the conflicts.

Despite the fact that we had a seasonal water pan in the community and a water storage unit in the hospital, elephants would come and drink the water. Herds trooped about the health centre at night and drank all the water from our tanks.  We would end up without any water to use in the hospital. Imagine a maternity ward without water!

About two years ago, the committee at Arjiju met to discuss how we were going to curb this challenge.  It was decided that we would put up a barbed-wire fence around the dispensary. This was done. But after a couple of weeks, the elephants came back and destroyed the fence and as usual went for the water tanks.

We had to find a solution, and I am glad that the committee was determined and ready to find solutions to this. When the chairman of Makurian Group Ranch mentioned that Disney Project would bring a new electric fence that would include the health centre, I was excited.

These past few months, seeing the poles up and finally, the electric wires being installed ,has our community very excited. That committee made a good call to include this health centre in the boundaries of the fence project.

With the electric fences now erected around the dispensary, we plan to pull down the old barbed-wired fences.

This year our water tanks will be full! I won’t have to worry about water when I get an emergency at the maternity ward at night.”

#Ends

The newly constructed solar-powered fence in Arjiju Village covers 45 hectares and is part of the Disney Conservation Fund implemented through The Laikipia Wildlife Forum at the larger Mukogodo landscape.

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Solar-Powered Fence Takes Shape in Arjiju Village

Disney Project

Margarate Wambua LWF Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Wilfred Mejooli, Makuarian Rangelands Coordinator and Senteu Ole Kimiri ILMAMUSI CFA Manager take a walk along the pole line erected around the settlement area in Arjiju Village.

Community members residing in Arjiju Village, Mukogodo, have lived in harmony with elephants for decades. But changes in land use over the years, food security and population growth, Maasai communities have started practising small-scale agriculture.

Yet, Arjiju Village has not enjoyed a full maize crop because of elephants raids on their farms. With the village located at the periphery of Mukogodo forest, humans, livestock and wildlife share common resources such as water and pasture. Owing to competition for these resources, persistent Human-Elephant Conflicts (HEC) have been witnessed

A solar-powered fence on the Mukogodo landscape seeks to reduce the occurrence and frequency of Human-Elephant Conflict.

Construction of the fence is part of Disney Conservation Project is part of activities recommended by ILMAMUSI Community Forest Association during the initial consultative meetings.

ILMAMUSI

The community in Mukogodo previously used a barbed-wired fence to protect their crops

This fence is a trial effort and replaces a barbed-wire fence in an effort to protect farms produce and support livelihoods.

The poles are up and the electric wires will be installed in the next few weeks, as the project makes progress in Mukogodo. Almost 45 acres and the Village dispensary are enclosed by the Fence.

Community members in Arjiju met Laikipia County Governor, Mr. Ndiritu Murithi, where they held discussions on Human Wildlife Conflicts and how the solar-powered fencing can be used to benefit the community.

To learn more about the Arjiju Solar Fence or to learn more about the Disney supported Mukogodo Project, please contact:

Margaret Wambua

margaret.wambua@laikipia.org

+254 726 500 260

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Demarcation for the Solar-powered Fence in Mukogodo – a Step Closer to Mitigation of Human-Elephant Conflict

Disney Project Demarcation

Community members demarcating solar-powered fence in Arjiju village in an effort to mitigate Human-Elephant Conflicts.

Community members in Arjiju Village, in Mukogodo forest, met to discuss the fencing of a 2.75 Km2 area. They were joined by Laikipia Wildlife (LWF), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Borana Conservancy who are partners in the implementation of the ILMAMUSI Disney Conservation funded project.

The ILMAMUSI Disney Conservation Fund Project, implemented through Laikipia Wildlife Forum, seeks to reduce the occurrence of Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) in the Mukogodo landscape.

During the meeting, KWS Officer however acknowledged cooperation from the Mukogodo community citing peaceful co-existence with wildlife despite challenges as result of competition for scarce resources.

Once the fence is up, the community will be able to farm and harvest their crops as the solar powered fence will deter the elephants from entering their crops.

The Arjiju community pledged their commitment to the completion and maintenance of the solar-powered fence and elected a 7 member fence committee which will oversee the implementation of the fence project led by a Fence Committee Chairman Mr.Nicholas Ole Kodei. Fence designs are aided by the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

Strengthening the grazing committees in Il Ngwesi, Lekurruki and Makurian group ranches

In April, Several community meetings were also held in Il Ngwesi and Makurian group ranches with grazing committee elections conducted at Il Ngwesi group ranch as part of the implementation of Disney Conservation Fund Project.

The grazing committees oversee the implementation of grazing plans within the group ranches to prevent overgrazing and conflicts over grazing areas.

Implementation of these targeted project activities is ongoing in the group ranches with the community members and leaders working actively with ILMAMUSI Community Forest Association (CFA) to ensure the success of the grazing plans. Grazing land management and restoration are seen as key to a healthy landscape. Healthy landscapes support better wildlife management, and can reduce the amount of conflict between people, livestock and wildlife over resources.

Northern Rangers Trust (NRT) rangeland coordinator has also been working closely with the ILMAMUSI CFA project manager to create awareness on the mitigation of Human-Elephant Conflicts and grazing land management.

All aspects of this Project are dependent on the future security of the area. Recent insecurity, cattle thefts, and intimidation continue to plague the area, making it challenging to secure livelihoods and the Mukogodo Water Tower.

The Disney Conservation Project is delivered to LWF and Il Mamusi through the Wildlife Conservation Society in Kenya.