Our first female farmer requests beehives to protect crops and save elephants. Women who care you’re invited to donate a beehive today so Elizabeth and her family have maize to harvest.
Last September they came again. This time was more heartbreaking than the last. Elizabeth lives on the edge of Arusha National Park in northern Tanzania. These 53 square miles of protected area are home to elephants, buffalo, all sorts of plains game and even a few leopards.
Elephants are no dummies. They find vegetable crops and banana plants mighty tasty. With no fences to keep the farmlands and the elephants’ stomping grounds separate, you guessed it bad things happen. We call it human wildlife conflict.
Elephants have huge feet… on average about 18 inches in diameter! Elephants have huge appetites… eating about 300lbs of vegetation a day! You get the picture. When an elephant and her friends decide to pay farm fields a call, there’s not much left for the farmers.
Elizabeth supports her family through selling vegetables and bananas. This year she has no bananas to take to market. Her plants were devastated by invading elephants last September, destroying much of her potential income. She recently planted maize (corn) in hopes to compensate for the loss. However, she is very nervous about the elephants returning once her crop begins to ripen. Her anxiety is well founded as in years past herds of elephants entered her and the neighbor’s farm. Most of the crops were trampled, eaten or pooped on.
At 45 years old Elizabeth is the primary breadwinner. Her vegetable crop is needed to support her husband and four children. Her farm borders the fields already protected by beehive fences.
Since early 2019 Nikela has sponsored 92 beehives to protect crops and save elephants. Lendoiya farmers grow maize, bananas and other vegetables to feed their families and take to market. For several years prior to 2019 many of these crops were repeatedly destroyed by elephants.
Farmers are brave folk and they retaliate. This never ends well for elephants or farmers. Elephants are injured or killed with spears. Humans are trampled or gored.
Moses Ryakitimbo heard of the farmers’ challenges and approached us at Nikela. He had a plan to construct beehive fences to protect crops and save elephants. We started by funding a pilot project (phase one) of 10 beehives. The results were good and since then 82 more beehives were sponsored by Nikela, protecting a total of seven farms. The majority of these crop fields feed the 1500 Lendoiya village residents.
It’s heart warming what these farmers have to say. Here are two recent reports and why we’re so thrilled to fund (with your help) Elizabeth’s 8 beehives.
Mr Baraka has this to say:
Nikela has been a blessing to our village here in Lendoiya. I have witnessed a peaceful coexistence between man and this big mammal called “elephant”. It’s a big African wild animal that I never thought I could live with in peace as I stay very close to wildlife, but through Nikela’s support bringing us beehives I have seen miracles I never thought could happen. Staying in peace with elephants and bees helping out the process. It’s a miracle.
Let’s also hear from Mr Nanyaro (not pictured above as he is a more recent recipient):
Nikela is a blessing to our village. I wish to meet them some day and say thank you. I have 10 beehives in my farm that were mounted by AFeWiS field team, and since then I have never even seen elephant dung around my farm and all sites surrounding my “maize farm” this means elephants don’t come here anymore we just see them from a far and this gives me a feeling that elephants are good mammals because they don’t disturb me anymore. This project simply protects elephants and people. Thanks to Margrit and Russ and all supporters doing this through Nikela.
Doesn’t that just make you want to jump into your device and give them a great big hug? Well, let’s do one better. Let’s get right on it and donate so Elizabeth can get her 8 beehives before those elephants decide to pay her a visit.
Why Nancy sponsored a beehive for Elizabeth:
“Another great project selection by Nikela. Appreciate the work these hero’s do on the ground and your efforts to bring these opportunities to us.”
To support Elizabeth you can sponsor one, two or more beehives. Each beehive costs $109.50. This covers the wood and materials needed to construct the hive, the transportation costs from the lumber yard, to the construction site and then to the field. It also covers the poles and wire needed to install the beehives. Almost forgot, it also pays the labor expenses for construction and installation.
When you fund a beehive, you can request your name or the name of someone you care about, to be painted on it.
Paige donated in memory of her departed mother.
Pawan donated a beehive in lieu of a gift to his two nephews.
A bunch more sponsored beehives.
Now it’s your turn. Let’s help Elizabeth.
Let’s make the world a better place for her, and her family, in 2021
UPDATE June 15th: Fully funded! Beehives under construction! However, two more women farmers stepped forward requesting beehives… so there’s still time to get involved.
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Nikela is a fundraising nonprofit on a mission to help people protecting nature, especially doing wildlife conservation.