Community Partnerships Mitigate Human-Wildlife Conflict at Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda
Mariam (64 years) is a subsistence farmer. She lives with five grandchildren in the Southern Sector, popularly known as Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). While this is Mariam’s home, it neighbours the National Park whose inhabitants—carnivores, including lions, leopards and hyenas —freely roam into communities to predate livestock.
Mariam’s goats were killed by lions causing her to have a less-favorable attitude towards them. “The lions came and killed 27 goats,” reminisces Mariam who had hoped to sell them to educate her son. As a result, many communities gave up this livelihood while others risked their lives by staying up all night to scare them away. On another front, some communities decided to kill them in retaliation for the losses.
Creating partnerships to mitigate human-wildlife conflict
In 2018, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) with support from Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) partnered with communities neighbouring Queen Elizabeth National Park to implement human-wildlife mitigation strategies that make subsistence farmers less vulnerable to livestock loss, while protecting important wildlife species. “This intervention would not have been successful if we had not engaged communities,” says Carol Twahebwa, WCS Community Liaison Officer. “Community members have been instrumental in mitigating human-wildlife conflict, through their participation in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the carnivore-proof pen popularly known as the ‘boma’.
Replicating ‘bomas’ to protect livestock from lions