It was an equally big gathering for such a small village, the team of expertise from Nairobi was having a meeting with the locals to brainstorm on solutions to farming challenges faced in their locality.
The venue was under a huge natural umbrella, I mean a huge acacia tree. I was feeling sleepy maybe due to the favourable conditions-the really cool shed and the lullaby sung by the birds playing on the branches.
This village is called Bur Abor, in Mandera County, the resindents and in extension the clan do not practise FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). Farrah, one of my collegues leans toward me and says, “Most somalis prefer marrying from this community because of that.”
I had to ask if hes gonna have his girls go through FGM when he himself prefers the opposite. ….he just smiled and looked way.
One farmer stood up, her complain, the monkeys from the neighbouring country Ethiopia that destroy their crops. Neither does fencing or erecting scare-crows help.
There were many suggestions given, but the one worth sharing was ‘mock the monkeys.’
One of the monkeys is to be captured, then dressed as a human in colourful shirt and a pair of shorts. Then released back to go rejoin its pack.
What would be the pack’s reaction, on seeing the dressed up monkey, they’d think its a human chasing after them, and thats when the crazy run would beggin.
The dressed-up monkey would be running back to its family, while the family would be running away from a human. Believe me, until the clothes get worn out or somehow gets off the monkey, the running would continue.
The end result, they would run back into the forest, far away from human settlement, it would take months for them to try coming back. Problem solved.
The Kenya Wildlife Service does not advocate for this method though its them who came up with it in the first place. Reason being that the monkeys migrate to Ethiopia and they loose on their wildlife. Maybe it can be used in extreme cases where the monkey menace cannot be managed otherwise.
Funny as it may be to picture a dressed-up monkey chasing after its family, some may feel its torture. What do you think? Consider the hardworking farmers too. Would you employ this method…?