News / Africa

    FAO Works to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict in Rural Africa

    Conflict mitigation tool kit offers practical suggestions for protecting crops from forest neighbors

    Red Colobus monkey
    Red Colobus monkey
    Kim Lewis

    Rural Africans often face problems trying to co-exist with wildlife.  Baboons steal food.  Elephants stampede through their crops.  And the animals are also under stress, as their habitat is lost to human settlement.

    But help is at hand.  The Conflict Mitigation Tool Kit, created by the government of Zimbabwe and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), offers some solutions to the competition for land and food between people and their forest neighbors.

    The FAO’s Forestry and Wildlife Officer, Rene Czudek, in Harare, Zimbabwe, explained how the kit works.  “We have done quite some work on human wildlife conflict in Africa but mostly they were like paper studies, guidelines that never reached the real clients in the field.  So this Tool Kit should allow us to approach the community and discuss with them the best options to prevent or mitigate human-wildlife conflict in rural Africa.”

    Kenyan Lion
    Kenyan Lion

    The kit contains useful information in the form of colorful tips that often come across as funny but that can help with serious problems.

    “We try to put together all possible methods to prevent or mitigate human-wildlife conflict,” Czudek said.  “Some of them are quite funny and I think our colleagues in the communication department in Rome [used humor] to attract attention….  But the main aim is to propose methods that are cost effective and could work in rural conditions in Africa.”

    In one example, he explained how people can protect their crops and themselves from elephants.

    “For an elephant raiding crops, we have different kinds of tools and one of them is to make chili.  You just grow chili, then you can mix it with some elephant dung, then you light it with charcoal and then this burning brick will just smell bad for the elephants. Since they don’t like chili pepper they will avoid going to the field,” said Czudek.

    The kit provides as many tools as possible, he said, because after a while the animals get used to the first method and it loses effectiveness.

    “In our tool kit,” he said, “we stress the need to do proper land use planning.  So, if you put your crops on an elephant corridor, there is a big chance it will be raided.”

    FAO Works to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict in Rural Africa
    FAO Works to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict in Rural Africa

    The FAO says where humans and wild animals share the same spaces, danger cannot be totally eliminated.  For instance, Czudek pointed to the danger facing people living in the same areas as crocodiles.

    In Mozambique and Zimbabwe, he said, people do not take the proper precautions in bathing, washing clothes and collecting water.

    “So there is this need to be aware, he said, "that there is a risk and you can put crocodile fencing around some areas where the people can go for collecting water, washing clothes, etc.”

    For baboons, who steal food, the Tool Kit suggests a live snake sandwich – hollowing out the center of a loaf of bread and putting a snake in it. “It’s quite a drastic method, but baboons have a very good memory.  When they experience something like this, they don’t repeat it,” said Czudek.  He added that the kit does offer other ways to deal with baboons.

    The goal of the Tool Kit is harmonious co-habitation, Czudek said, protecting both humans and wildlife.  He added that since “wildlife can be a valuable asset to humans,” human-wildlife conflict may one day become a human-wildlife alliance.  

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora