Human & Wildlife conflict Kenya
The influence of mankind is undeniably strong and the potential devastation that comes with that influence is an aspect that people should be made aware of. We all should be made aware of the beauty we are losing, the wildlife populations that are decreasing by the day. We all need awareness of the steadily paced evaporation of certain lifelong traditions and indigenous cultures. Awareness is my message.
In Kenya I witnessed the struggle waged by humans to uphold their cultures and traditions and the struggle for the animals in search of food and safe areas. For example, one of the rules for attending school in Kenya is that you can’t show any external features of your tribe. This makes it extremely difficult for children in Kenya to choose between two important aspects of their life, their tribe, consisting of their family and friends, or their school and education? As a young Maasai boy it is important to get the respect of your parents and the tribe elders. This also accounts for the Kamba Tribe. For ages they have hunted bushmeat to provide for their families and honor their tradition. However, due to Western pressure, hunting bushmeat is now illegal. As a result, long-standing traditions disappear and specific cultures are denied from existence. This is perfectly exemplified in the United States by how the traditions of the Native Americans vanished because of the pressure of western civilization. The same thing will happen in Kenya. Because of rules like the ones in the Kenyan schools and Western pressure I believe it is inevitable that traditions of different cultures slowly evaporate. Even in case of rules for the benefit of the people and the animals.
For wild animals the biggest threat is humans. The population in cities all over Kenya is growing, meaning people in poorer conditions are forced to look for land elsewhere to set up their new homes and farmlands outside of the cities where animals are more common. This results in an increase of conflict between humans and wildlife as land is becoming more scarce. Farmlands with fences keep out most big animals but not the elephants, and most people don’t have the luxury of providing for a fence around their farm to keep out wild animals. Elephants are “invading” farmland because new patches of farmland are appearing in their natural habitat where they used to roam freely. Wild animals are being regarded as a threat to farm owners, and therefore taking away the threat is a common solution resulting in harming or killing the animal. Different cultures and various animals are pushed to the edge and if we keep this up, at a certain point we will only be able to admire these beautiful animals and different cultures as things we used to have: as relics.