Gender Dynamics and Human-Wildlife Conflicts in Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Narok County, Kenya
Omedo, Marie Auma
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Human-Wildlife Conflict is a phenomenon that affects a wide range of the world’s population. Especially those who live in rural African communities. The people in the Mara are a good example of such a community that is African, rural, not economically well off and living near wildlife. Among the greatest issues that the Mara faces is Human-Wildlife Conflict and despite previous attempts to mitigate it, it continues to persist. One of the reasons why this plague has been so persistent is because the rules and regulations are too broad and do not factor in the differences within the communities that live in close proximity to wildlife populations. This research has singled out the main difference in these communities as being gender and as such focuses on it. The objectives of this research are to examine the gender dynamics that affect Human-Wildlife Conflicts, to examine how the gender dynamics can then be used in wildlife conservation and create conservation strategies from the evaluation of gender dynamics relevant to Human-Wildlife Conflicts. To fulfil the objectives the research set out to test the hypothesis of whether gender dynamics influence wildlife conservation measures. This study will significantly change the view of wildlife conservation by giving it a gendered perspective. The methodology for this research was guided by a descriptive research design which entailed the use of observation, questionnaires and interviews to gather data. The samples were automatically disaggregated by gender. The research instruments used (questionnaires and indicator matrices) were able to distinguish the experiences that these two genders face when it comes to Human-Wildlife Conflicts based on occupation, income, household roles, and losses incurred. The research did this by summarizing the key findings of the survey it conducted and drawing conclusions from the gathered data. The findings were categorized by the outlined objectives. The study concluded that the following attributes affect how the genders interact with Human-Wildlife Conflicts: household roles, agricultural occupation, income loss, injuries, land ownership and marital status. This was because the null hypothesis was disproved. After all, the p-value: =0.006435 was less than the agreed significance level of 0.05. From the conclusions, the research managed to generate recommendations regarding Human-Wildlife Conflicts as relates to gender on the issue of conservation in the Mara. These included: barriers, repellents, disguises, data management systems, Airbnb manyattas, rainwater harvesting, performance payment and transport for school-going children. The research also put forth suggestions for further research like age dynamics in the conservation discourse.