InKilae village, nestling in the Transmara conservation area, a region prone to human elephant conflicts we meet Domic Nabaala, agro-pastoralist who candidly expresses his liking and frustration with the elephants.
“Elephants are beautiful creatures, but unfriendly too when they feel threatened. Over the years this is exactly what humans have done, made elephants feel threatened, especially around my village where what used to be the elephants corridor to Nyakweri Forest also known as the ‘elephant maternity’ is now completely developed,” says Dominic.
With corridors cut off, elephants are forced to find other routes thus increasing their contact with humans and properties leading to losses and fatalities. One of the affected farms is Dominic s’ four acre maize plantation. To avert human-elephant conflict Dominic has embraced a simple technology of galvanized steel wire, tins and chili ropes.
He attests that since he adopted the technology destruction by elephants have drastically reduced. “From near zero yield a few years ago, during the last season that ended in June I harvested an impressive 15 sacks per acre, totaling to 60 bags of dried maize” he narrates with a smile.
Today through the support of WWF-Kenya Dominic is a certified ranger with Kenya Wildlife Service having been trained at law enforcement academy. He now works as a community ranger who has vowed to protect people and elephants at all costs.
How it works
A 2.00 mm galvanized steel wire is tied on poles which are 10-meters apart and tins hang on them to emit annoying noise to scare away the elephants. Chili scent is a natural repellant to elephants. Mixed with oil to retain its potency, the chili solution is applied on sisal ropes that are tied round the farm. With their strong sense of smell, the elephants will almost always avoid the noisy and chilli scented farms.