Sunday January 20, 2019

When Bees help Humans and Elephants survive in Kenya

HEC (Human elephant coexistence) program in African countries gained popularity in recent years and helped minimizing human - elephants riots

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Kenyan elephants are not restricted to wildlife sanctuaries or reserves, hence continuous harm by them to the locals and their lands and farms is common In African regions. Being one of the biggest animals they see humans as their biggest threat, hence farmers won’t see a way to sustain them from entering and damaging their crops and farms.

Discovering lethal and well accepted ways to prevent the over exploitation by the Elephants in the African areas is one of the biggest challenges elephant and wildlife managers seek across African region. Even tons of elephants are killed every year for their ivory tusks, farmers continue to fight for their survival with them and poaching is devastating the survival of animals in Africa.

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Dr Lucky king the winner UNEP/CMS Thesis Award and head of HEC (Human elephant coexistence) program managed to prove an experiment that would render elephant helpless when they hear bee’s buzzing sound or come across beehives on their way to the fields, thus forcing them to change their direction and force them to return. She laid down the research in Kenya Sabo East national park with 22 farmers under which a beehive fence is made with hives at a distance of 10mts with 10-21 hives a single fence and are made cheaply with the cost of 150$-500$ per 100m of fence and equipped with locally available material. Dr King and her team members discovered that the project success rate is well above 85% and it helped farmers boost their income by up to 30% as the honey is well demanded in international market.

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The strategy also helped the farmers by improving their daily life with less elephant conflicts moreover increase in their income from 300$ a year by upto 30%.

Lucy King won The St Andrews Prize for the Environment for the extraordinary and unique research and quoted saying “I am delighted with this win. The recognition and financial support will enable us to expand our vital research work and protect many more rural farming families from elephant invasions.”

-by Shivang Goel. He is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter:@Shivang997

Next Story

No More Schoolgirls Examined For Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya

We are not going to line up all the girls and test them — you can't do that as they can be stigmatized

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FILE - A T-shirt warns against female genital mutilation. Its wearer attends an event, discouraging harmful practices such as FGM, at a girls high school in Imbirikani, Kenya, April 21, 2016. VOA

No schoolgirls in western Kenya are being forced to undergo examinations for female genital mutilation, Kenyan authorities said Tuesday, after a government official sparked outrage by proposing compulsory tests to curb the crime.

George Natembeya, commissioner for Narok County, said on Friday that girls returning to school after the Christmas break were being screened for female genital mutilation (FGM) in order to prosecute their parents and traditional cutters.

Rights groups condemned the move, saying examining the girls — aged between nine and 17 — was demeaning and contravened their right to privacy and dignity.

FGM, Kenya
Maasai girls and a man watch a video on a mobile phone prior to the start of a social event advocating against harmful practices such as female genital mutilation at the Imbirikani Girls High School in Imbirikani, Kenya. VOA

Kenya’s Anti-FGM Board said they had conducted an investigation in Narok after Natembeya’s statement and found no evidence of girls being tested.

“The Board hereby confirms that no girl has been paraded for FGM screening as per allegations that have been circulating in the last few days,” the semi-autonomous government agency said in a statement.

“The Board recognises and appreciates the role played by different stakeholders in complementing the government’s efforts in the FGM campaigns but we want to reiterate that all interventions must uphold the law.”

FGM, which usually involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, is prevalent across parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East — and is seen as necessary for social acceptance and increasing a girl’s marriage prospects.

FGM, Kenya
KAMELI, KENYA – AUGUST 12: A Masaai villager displays the traditional blade used to circumcise young girls August 12, 2007 in Kameli, Kenya. VOA

FGM dangers

It is usually performed by traditional cutters, often with unsterilized blades or knives. In some cases, girls can bleed to death or die from infections. It can also cause lifelong painful conditions such as fistula and fatal childbirth complications.

Kenya criminalized FGM in 2011, but the deep-rooted practice persists. According to the United Nations, one in five Kenyan women and girls aged between 15 and 49 have undergone FGM.

Natembeya said he had announced the compulsory tests to warn communities not to practice FGM on their daughters, but that there was no intention to force all girls to undergo screening.

Rights groups said the policy was rolled back following outrage.

Also Read: The Risk of FGM Hangs Above British Schoolgirls During Holiday Break

“We are not going to line up all the girls and test them — you can’t do that as they can be stigmatized,” he told Reuters.

“What we are doing is that if we get reports from schools that a girl has undergone FGM, it becomes a police case and the girl is taken to hospital and medically examined. Then the parents or caregivers will be arrested and taken to court.” (VOA)