Machakos Community Introduces Educational Program on Hyenas Amid Wildlife Concerns

MACHAKOS – In the town of Malaa, Machakos County, the introduction of a new school curriculum aimed at educating children about local wildlife, particularly hyenas, signifies a critical response to ongoing safety concerns. This educational initiative at Baraka Halali Primary School aims to mitigate the dangers posed by the proximity of the community to hyena habitats near the Oldonyo Sabuk game reserve.

According to Kenya News Agency, the decision to incorporate lessons on hyenas arose from the need to empower children with knowledge to distinguish and protect themselves from potential wildlife threats. The area has experienced recurring issues with hyena encounters, particularly impacting students’ daily commutes to and from school. In response, Baraka Halali Primary has adapted its schedule and curriculum to address these unique challenges.

The community, led by local parents like Julius Hoho and Grace Ireri, has voiced concerns over the safety of their children and the loss of livestock due to hyena attacks. These incidents have not only led to economic hardship but also instilled a pervasive sense of fear among residents. The establishment of Baraka Halali Primary, closer to the community, is seen as a significant relief, reducing the distance children must travel through potentially dangerous areas.

In addition to adjusting school hours to ensure students return home before dusk, the educational focus on hyenas is intended to provide students with practical knowledge about the animals, their behaviors, and safety precautions. This program represents a proactive approach to coexisting with the local wildlife while safeguarding the community’s well-being.

Despite these efforts, the issue of compensation for losses attributed to wildlife remains unresolved, with residents expressing frustration over the lack of support from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). The community continues to seek solutions and assistance to mitigate the impact of wildlife interactions, underscoring the need for a collaborative and informed approach to living alongside Kenya’s diverse animal populations.

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