Strategies Used by Local Communities in the Management of Human-Wildlife Conflicts in Kieni-West Sub-County, Kenya

Godhard Muiruri Kariuki


Human-wildlife conflicts (HWC) are a common phenomenon worldwide, particularly in areas where humans and wild animal’s requirements overlap. This stud y focused on strategies used by the local communities in the management of HWC in Kieni West S ub -Count y, Kenya. In order to accomplish this stud y, the stud y objective was: To assess the mitigation strategies employed by the local community to reduce human-wildlife conflicts . The rationale for the stud y was informed by the fact that human-wildlife conflicts have been common in Kieni West Sub-County causing negative social, economic and environmental impacts. This stud y used a descriptive survey design. Three locations were purposively selected for the stud y. The y included Amboni, Bondeni and Njeng’u. The target population of the study was 2340 households drawn from the three locations. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview schedules for key informants, participant observations and focus group discussions. These instruments were piloted for reliability and validity. Collected data was later analyzed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS). Chi- squared test was used to compare different variables while Spearman rank correlation coefficient was used to establish the relationship between variables. Information given by key informants and opinions by local leaders was analyzed thematically. The data was presented in frequency tables, figures, percentages and texts in a descriptive way. The finding of this stud y indicated that the local communities in the area used different management strategies to mitigate the human -wildlife conflicts. 16% of the local communities used lethal control, 42 % used deterrents, 46% used physical barriers, 22% used guard animals, 61% used human vigilance while 39% used deceptive planting. Observed differences were highly significant (X2=65.5, df=5, P0.001). The stud y concluded that different mitigation strategies worked differently to diverse wild animal species that were targeted as the y behaved and responded differently. The major recommendation was for the local community to come up with alternative and modern methods of mitigating human-wildlife conflicts in the area. Areas of further research were identified.

Keywords: Deterrents, Human-wildlife conflicts, mitigation measures.

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