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Engaging local community in sustaining the large population of elephants in Tsavo-Mkomazi Landscape, by Kenneth Kimitei & George Okwaro, AWF

April 16, 2019

The elephant population in Kenya’s Tsavo, and Tanzania’s Mkomazi regions is about 12,800, this population is depending on the protected areas and community lands for its survival. The Tsavo-Mkomazi ecosystem is connected by corridors and dispersal areas which are in the community areas. These areas are facing a lot of challenges some of which include blockage through incompatible land uses. This is evident by increased conflicts and thus retaliations either by poaching or killing due to no perceived benefits from elephants by the community members. The only way to secure such corridors and dispersal areas, AWF has been engaging itself in making sure the local community benefit or get support in proper management and also tap benefits from the wildlife that utilize these critical areas. Among the strategies put in place include establishment of conservation enterprises which is accompanied by enhanced governance and accountability, conflict resolution and transparency and this is evident in the LUMO conservancy, a community base conservancy in Tsavo. In addition, AWF is working on the development of land use plans in areas within the wildlife corridors and dispersal areas, establishment of community game scouts to help in anti-poaching and human wildlife conflict mitigation, and also training farmers as first responders to human wildlife conflict and introduction of simple tools to scare away wildlife.

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