Farmers’ reality in Uganda
Imagine you’re a farmer in Uganda, Africa. You work a small plot of land outside of a National Park. The weather is frequently against you as the rains stay away far too long. You family relies on the mealies and sorgham you grow. Failure is not an option for your family’s survival.
This year everything goes wrong. The rains come late. When your crop finally starts to grow a small herd of elephants raids your fields. Not only are half the mealies gone but the rest of your crop is devastated by the huge animals.
You and your neighbors are angry. You are ready to grab your spears. The enemy must die.
Moses steps in to help
Sadly this is the reality Moses is dealing with this year. Not as the victim farmer, but as the elephants advocate.
Moses is on a mission to save elephants while also making sure his fellow villagers are okay.
Moses tells me the drought and poaching in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has driven many elephants into the National Parks of Uganda. These are not really bad elephants. They are simply hungry elephants. Refugee elephants.
However, that still leaves the farmers without their crops for food. Moses is not so easily stumped. He calms the angry farmers. They agree not to hunt down the elephants that are still in the vicinity. Then Moses jumps online and solicits help from his Facebook friends. They respond and off Moses goes to buy mealie meal and such to replace the lost food.
Is this a long term solution? Of course not. However, it buys some unfortunate farmers and equally unfortunate elephants some time to live another day.
Human wildlife conflicts are one of the biggest challenges for wildlife conservation today. With human populations ever growing and wildlife habitat ever shrinking clashes occur. When drought and poaching are layered on top of that… well, it’s even worse.
Thank goodness for people like Moses who jump in. A solution that Moses has found quite successful is to provide farmers living along the National Park boundaries with beehives. He builds beehives, one for every family. Bees find the hive in about two weeks. Unlike we’ve been led to believe, elephants don’t fear mice, but bees. Bees keep elephants away from crops.
When I last asked Moses… they always need more money to build more bee hives.
Helping is easy.
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