SOURCE: Raising The Village

Raising The Village

December 05, 2013 06:00 ET

Raising The Village's Beehive Initiative Stops Elephants in Their Tracks

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - December 05, 2013) - In Southwestern Uganda, villages bordering the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest have been dealing with a larger-than-life problem -- elephants with insatiable appetites. Every day, these elephants leave the protection of the forest and venture into nearby farmlands to raid the communities' crops, putting both the elephants' and the villagers' lives at risk. Because many of the households affected by the raids survive on less than 50 cents a day and depend on the food they are able to grow to feed their families, elephant raids can devastate an entire village in no time. In response to this threat, Raising The Village (RTV) has piloted a unique beehive initiative in the village of Kanyamahene to deter the elephants, while protecting community crops.

The initiative, which uses elephants' natural fear of bees, involves creating a fence between community crops and the forest, with traditional beehives placed 10 meters apart and connected by wire. While most elephants avoid the fence altogether, those few elephants that do come for a closer look are soon scared off. When an elephant hits the fence in an attempt to pass through, the wire shakes all the surrounding hives and disturbs the bees, sending the elephants running back into the forest, scared but unscathed. 

"This project is such a simple concept and yet it has had such an incredible impact on these people who might otherwise have lost their only resource for food," says RTV Founder, Shawn Cheung. "With ongoing support, we'll be able to grow the impact of these hives and ultimately, give peace of mind to these people who can then begin tackling some of their village's other pressing challenges." And our partner village of Kanyamahene couldn't be happier with the results so far -- today, one year after the fence was installed, elephant raids have decreased from approximately 30 raids a month to less than 1 raid a month.

About RTV
Recently featured on Global News, Raising The Village is a Canadian charity that partners with some of the most remote and impoverished villages in Africa to ensure they have access to all basic human rights, including access to clean water, education, healthcare, nutrition, and income generation. We provide much-needed training and infrastructure to empower local leaders and to enable villages to pull themselves out of extreme poverty forever. We have been able to support thousands of people in Uganda by focusing on the community rather than the individual, and by providing sustainable solutions to ensure that the community can thrive on its own and determine its own future.

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Contact Information

  • For additional information, please contact:
    Name: Sheona McGraw
    Executive Director for Raising the Village
    Phone: 905-484-8877