Community members from the Makurian, Il Ngwesi and Sieku group ranches, with support from Laikipia Wildlife Forum, held independent meetings in March. The purpose of the meetings was to introduce the Disney Project funding that supports the reduction of Human-Elephant Conflict in the area of the Mukogodo Forest.
The Disney Project puts rangelands improvement, spring protection and settlement protection at the top of the list of actions.
Restoration Of Grazing Plans and Rangeland Management in three Group Rances – Markurian, Il Ngwesi and Sieku Group Ranches
Rangeland rehabilitation will include the reorganization of group ranch grazing committees; community awareness forums on Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC); improved herding practices; the formation of grazing plans in select areas, and designation of secure grazing areas.
A reward based system, in collaboration with Borana Conservancy, will be developed for the best performing group ranch (including improved access to markets and veterinary support).
The Disney Project was welcomed as an additional form of support in managing existing resources, which support livestock as the main source of livelihood for communities living in the group ranch.
The Chairman for grazing management committee at Il Ngwesi, Mr Maisulia Kiyaa, acknowledged the vibrant committee at the Il Ngwesi Conservancy that would steer the project, but noted with concern the glaring challenges where the Mukogodo forest has been invaded for cultivation.
The meeting at Sieku (Lekurruki) brought to light the challenges that hinder the effective performance of the grazing committee including the invasion of the forests by pastoralists from neighbouring counties,who are not subject to the grazing plans.
However, having successfully defended some grazing areas within the Lekurruki Conservancy with help of rangers, there was optimism that more could be achieved working under the umbrella leadership of ILMAMUSI CFA.