The human-elephant and human-predator conflict poses major threats to both humans and wildlife and is especially prevalent for the communities who live along the borders of the Hwange National Park.
Crop raiding by elephants can cause significant property damage, affect household food security and economic well-being and result in death for both farmers and elephants. We have been working with local farmers in our community to establish beehive fences around their fields as an eco-friendly solution to protect families livelihoods and the elephants. The bees not only act as a natural deterrent to the elephants but also provide an alternative economic opportunity for the farmers who can process and sell the honey they produce to tourism operators and other members of the community.
Livestock forms a vital element of the subsistence farming model utilised by our rural communities who invest in livestock as an asset. Human-predator conflict arises from the predation of farmers’ livestock which jeopardises the family livelihood and economic wealth. This conflict has detrimental effects on the African Lion populations as the community members retaliate by killing the predators.
We aim to mitigate this conflict through our mobile boma project. The project uses the principles of communal kraaling of 2-3 families’ livestock in a zero-visibility mobile boma. These mobile bomas are made using canvas and protect the livestock at night which is when most predation occurs. They are set up and rotated between the farmers’ fallow fields for one week at a time. The bomas not only protect the livestock from predators but also break up the soil with their hooves and fertilize the land with their manure and urine. The results of this project have shown multiple benefits with no predation of livestock as yet and significant increases in crop yields where the mobile bomas have been placed.