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Tag: humanlion conflict mitigation


Thursday 10th August 2023

Paul Meek photo


Let’s all think about the majestic lion and why it is so important not to let this iconic species slip away into extinction.

We believe there are fewer than 10,000 lions left in the wild and probably only four or five viable populations left in the whole of Africa.

But amidst these depressing population numbers, there IS some good news about lions and hopefully there is much more to come ……

In July last year, you may remember that 11 of us pledged to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, to raise money to kickstart our innovative human/lion conflict mitigation project in Merrueshi, Kenya.

Well, we did it!!! And with your help, we raised enough money to get the project started.

A year on, we have equipped six manyattas (villages) in Merrueshi so far with perimeter blinking lights, powered by solar panels, to deter lions and other predators from attacking the livestock contained within the manyatta. AND on top of that, we equipped each household within each of the manyattas with a life saving light.

And WOW! Not a single lion has been killed in retaliation in the whole Merrueshi ecosystem since the project began last September.

How does this work?

Each householder donates two pieces of livestock to the project and these animals (we call them the Insurance herd) are used to compensate ANY household within the whole ecosystem (58 manyattas in total) for any genuine predation loss. A cow for a cow.

SO even though we have only equipped six manyattas so far,. every household is protected from predation losses and thus, there are no retaliatory killings.

The project is working - the project, designed and implemented by the Maasai community, is working because it has crucial local support

I can’t emphasise this enough – because for years and years, this thorny problem of human/lion conflict has plagued rural Africa and defeated so many hopeful projects designed to combat this major cause of lion declines in Africa.

Why is this project working so much better than many previous projects?

  • The LionAid project is working together with the community to bring lasting benefits to both wildlife and the rural peoples living there.
  • The community Elders manage the project – LionAid partners with the community and provides the start up funding
  • Each household in an equipped manyatta receives a life saving light to replace the dangerous, toxic, smelly kerosene lamps that are the only source of light they normally can use.
  • Children within the equipped manyattas are doing markedly better at school because, with lights, they can do their homework at home
  • All 58 manyattas benefit from replacement animals within the insurance herd
  • Children within the community are now seeing lions in a different light – before they labelled lions as “dangerous”, now they associate them with bringing light and prosperity to a poverty-stricken community.
  • The Elders are working with the manyatta chiefs to highlight those manyattas with good boma protection to deter predators and passing those skills on to those manyattas in need of their support



SO, we have equipped six manyattas so far and there are still 52 more manyattas to equip. Each one costs around £5,000 to equip.

Please will you, on this World Lion Day, lend your support to help us equip the seventh manyatta?

And let’s spread the word of this great news for lion conservation


Thank you.

1st manyatta 2

solar panel

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 10:05