As we celebrate World Wildlife Day, we would like to recognize our Alumni who have continuously created innovative solutions in their communities. Youth understand that wildlife is an important part of our environment and that we need to actively foster solutions that favour the coexistence of wildlife and human life. Here are some challenges that our youth have identified in their communities and innovative solutions they proposed to address these problems:
Elephant poaching is a disaster that still troubles Kenya and Africa as a whole. Research reveals that in the 1970s Africa had around 1.3 million elephants but today that number has dropped to 500,000 elephants. Even though by 2021 there is the good news of elephant poaching having decreased, we can’t ignore the fact that elephants are still vulnerable to poachers. Fortunately, our youth are continuously trying to create solutions to address these challenge in their communities
A smart gadget that monitors Elephants to keep intruders away
This was designed by Mercy Chepkoech Sigeyi, a young Kenyan innovator together with her team in 2014. The motion sensor is meant to detect movement in the park. The gadget raises an alarm whenever intruders invade the animals’ habitats and the rangers are able to reinforce security before the enemy reaches the wild animals.
Mercy has been passionate about elephants since she was a little child and was pressed by the issue of elephant poaching in her community. Poaching meant that one day there won’t be elephants left for her to see and she set out to find a solution. Her participation in the InChallenge program provided by our organization has today made her dream come true. We celebrate and encourage her to add to other youth to stand up against such devastating acts and protect wildlife.
Human-wildlife conflicts majorly occur in designated protected areas where wild animals freely traverse the area. Most of the people living in these areas depend on natural resources for survival. Wild animals trigger conflicts from these communities when they cause damage to livestock, crops and human lives. Population increase among communities has also forced some of them to stretch towards the wild animals’ habitat provoking tragic reactions from the animals. Policies such as eviction and limited access to resources that were earlier put in place to prevent the killing of wild animals only exacerbated the problem. The competition for resources between humans and wild animals continues to cause harm to both livelihoods hence making their coexistence more difficult.
The Wildlife Sniffer Fence
This device was proposed by Collins Obota and his team in 2018. The sniffer fence is a virtual fence that notifies the relevant authorities of any movement around the wildlife’s geographical area by measuring the height, weight, and coordinates of the sent signal and direction of movement. The recorded information is sent to a control centre where the relevant authority will be required to respond by checking out the invaded area. With this solution, human-wildlife conflict can reduce leading to less destruction in human settlements and minimal death of wildlife. We applaud Collins and his team for a good job and urge them to continue innovating ideas to fight human-wildlife conflict and ensuring that both wild animals and humans are safe.
In conclusion, wildlife conservation is key. If we continue killing wild animals then one day we’ll wake up to none. Resources will be depleted, the tourism sector will be adversely affected, our economy will be hanging from a precipice, and sustainable development will be at risk. Therefore, we all have a responsibility to safeguard our wildlife. At GMin we believe in the capacity of youth like Mercy, Collins, and their teams to create relevant solutions in our communities. We continue to engage with youth through our programs.