Lepilal, our Guardian for the Inkiito zone in Olgulului group ranch, has recently been appreciated by his community for all the numerous ways in which he assists them. Since becoming a Guardian he has managed to help the community in reinforcing tens of bomas (livestock corrals), finding hundreds of lost livestock and proactively mitigating conflict. He has also participated in searching several lost herders and children. All these efforts have not gone unnoticed by members of his community. He expounded that he has received huge praise and respect due to the good work he is doing as a Guardian.
The Guardian shared that over the years he has built a good working relationship and rapport with members of his community as a result of developing and maintaining clear channels of communication. He elaborated that he continuously updates his community on the presence of lions. This information is highly appreciated by the community since it helps in proactively mitigating conflict. Once they receive information on the whereabouts of lions, both the livestock owners and herders will take the livestock to the opposite direction in order to ensure that their livestock are safe. On the other hand, the community also report all depredation incidences and other lion related information to Lepilal. Whenever, herders or community members get visual of lions they ensure that they inform him. They also make other request such as boma fencing and search for lost livestock. Lepilal ensures that he follows up on the lion information he receives from the community. He also make sure that he responds to various requests and give the necessary help. He gave the example of a depredation incident which happened on 4th March 2020 – where three sub adult lions broke into a boma and badly injured a calf. After the incident, the lions didn’t go far from the bomas. The livestock owner informed Lepilal about the incident and despite the fact that the lions close by, the communities did not retaliate. This is because they didn’t want to disappoint Lepilal who has been helping them immensely. Upon receiving the report, Lepilal rushed to the and informed our monitoring team about the incident. The team responded and together with Lepilal and Lolepo (Guardian from a neighboring zone), the team identified the lions and mock hunted them. This disciplinary measure was effective – since then the lions never went to bomas again.
We are proud of the relationship that Lepilal has built with his community as a Guardian – and are so happy to hear about this community recognition of his work.