Earlier this week I travelled to Olgulului, our neighbouring ranch, where we will be starting up Lion Guardians soon. The first thing that people asked was whether we have rain yet on Mbirikani. And the answer was still no. The area was so dry that only dust could be seen from a distance. Donkeys are the only means of water transport in the area. Look how many donkeys we came across! You can see how it is just like a desert there.
The community told me that they think more livestock will get attacked by predators, as they are becoming weak and they cannot run away from carnivores. Everyone is so eager to have Lion Guardians on this ranch. As we reported back in June, lions are still being killed here, so it is urgent that we start the Lion Guardians as soon as we can.
The rains still have not come to the Chyulus. This means that both livestock and wildlife are still very thirsty, and are becoming weak. This is a dangerous time for animals here.
The wildlife on this ranch had two ways to get water. They could walk to a river way off in the southern part of the ranch, or get water from breaks in the water pipeline. Recently though all the broken pipes were repaired, so this means of getting water has been removed. Instead they resort to drinking from private water troughs,Â sometimes breaking them.Â The community cannot afford to pay for water for wildlife too, since it will mean additional costs to their monthly water bills. So conflict is high, and we are all left in a difficult situation, as the rains still do not come.
The idea of tagging elephants with SIM cards and creating an artificial geofence (mentioned by Hashi Hanta) sounds great, but would not work here. The elephants here do not have collars, and we are not inside a protected area – this is wild Maasailand, and animals may roam where they please. It would also be very expensive, and we do not have enough money for the Lion Guardians – there is certainly not enough for this kind of measure, however successful it may be.
Let’s hope the rains come soon. In the meantime the Lion Guardians are working with their communities to reduce any conflicts that arise from the water shortage. Please help them and their communities by making a donation to, if you can. Thank you.