When: 3 December 2016
All Day event
Action for Cheetahs in Kenya, Alive and Kicking and Sporting Conservation wish to invite your participation in a sporting event in Salama area to raise awareness on wildlife and environment conservation dubbed champions for cheetahs. We will be hosting the event on 3rd December to mark the International Cheetah Day.
This event will be a football competition in the name of conservation. It is hosted by “Action for Cheetahs” and supported by Alive and Kicking Kenya. The 9 a-side competition will involve local community teams for youth. The theme of this event is also to bring awareness to Action for Cheetahs in Kenya and the need for environmental conservation.
You can get involved:
– Through financial and in-kind contributions towards the event on 3rdDecember
– Share this link to create awareness of our campaign and be a champion for cheetahs in Kenya.
For more information or to partner with us, kindly contact:
Director, Action for Cheetahs, Director
Marketing, Alive and Kicking
Gaurav Raj Bhandari
Director, Sporting Conservation
Action for Cheetahs in Kenya (ACK) is a not-for-profit organization that carries out range-wide cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) research in Kenya. It works closely with local wildlife authorities and land holders to develop policies and programs which support wildlife conservation and human livelihoods for long-term sustainability and co-existence of human and wildlife.
As a part of our efforts to raise awareness in the community in which we work, we are promoting International Cheetah Day on 4th December 2016 with a friendly football completion in the Salama area. We are inviting 8 teams to compete for fun only. During the event we will discuss how cheetahs and healthy ecosystems go hand in hand.
Kenya’s cheetah population of less than 1400 cheetahs is East Africa’s most central population. Over 80% of this cheetah population lives outside protected areas, making the cheetah the most vulnerable species in the 21stCentury. Cheetahs are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to habitat loss, loss prey, human- predator conflict and the illegal cub trade.
Although biological research in conservation is important for decision making and project implementation, community tolerance and understanding of predators allows cheetahs to survive for future generations. Human-wildlife conflict, poor livestock husbandry practices and lack of knowledge on how to prevent or mitigate loss of livestock to predators has greatly contributed to negative attitude, intolerance and persecution of cheetahs in the area. Therefore, understanding the relationship of cheetahs and people, improvinglivelihoods through natural resource management or alternative livelihood enterprises and capacity building is therefore paramount in the conservation of cheetahs in Kenya. Education and awareness is important in predator conservation especially cheetahs, because it elightens the communityand the public on the important predators in the ecosystem.
Sports bring people together irrespective of their tribe, race, religion and social status. It creates awareness to the public through a fun and interactive way. Through sports, environmental, social and health issues i.e. diabetes, Lake Nakuru National Park “Cycle with the Rhino”, the Lewa marathon, the Hells Gate National Park wheelbarrow race, and the mobile clinic marathon by the first lady have been use to address the public in sports for a cause.
Action for Cheetahs in Kenya in partnership with Alive and Kicking and Sporting Conservation will hold a football tournament in Salama, Makueni County on 3rd of December 2016 to memorialize the International World Cheetah Day. The tournament, themed ‘Champions4Cheetahs’ will help raise awareness of cheetahs in the area and educate the community on proper livestock husbandry practices, alternative livelihoods such as making crafts through recycled material which would help reduce or mitigate human-wildlife conflict in the area. The nine-aside competition will involve local community teams who will compete for a trophy and other prizes.
In 2007, ACK held the first Cheetah Cup tournament in Salama titled “Eco-Sys Action Football Cup” supported by Eco-Sys Action and Sporting Conservation. This event was a success and historic as it was the first conervation tournament in the area, and up to date they still compete for the same cup at the county level. There were other side events such as making recycled plastic bag ball competition. An eco-village and a health corner were set with easy to read information that provided general public conservation and health information to the community. During the tournament, the community participated in a clean-up exercise and trees were planted in the area to mark the event. Winning teams were given trophies and medals made from recycled material together with cheetah-branded stickers and balls from Alive and Kicking. They were also given tree seedlings and basic food commodities such as maize flour and tea leaves as prizes.
ACK has been promoting awareness on cheetah and environmental conservation in the area mainly through public barazas in the community and through films, talks debates in selected schools. Though quite successful, these activities usually target specific audience or age groups. Champions4Cheetahs will be the best avenue to promote awareness on cheetah and environmental conservation in Salama on International Cheetah day as it will attract and bring together all community members in one forum. This event will also attract other organizations which will share materials and information on other environmental and health issues affecting the community in the area. It will also provide an opportunity for teams and individuals coming from outside the community to visit and explore Salama area where communities live in close proximity to wildlife. The event will also promote idea sharing among different communities from different areas that will empower, enhance innovation and livelihood improvement.
SETTING AN EXAMPLE
The Salama community has co-existed with wildlife since time immemorial. However, in the recent past, cases on human-wildlife conflict have increased in the area leading to intolerance and persecution of wild animals. Increased interaction between wildlife and the community has been brought about by land sub-division, sand harvesting, poaching, snaring and bush meat trade, which has resulted in competition for scarce natural resources due to loss of habitat and wild animal prey. In addition, construction of the Standard Gauge Railway and Pipeline has restricted wildlife movement from the community area and access to water, prey and pasture. This has prompted crop raids and livestock losses in the area.
The community and wildlife in the area can still co-exist harmoniously if the community are well educated on ways to take care of their environment and prevent losses to wild animals. Conservation education and awareness especially through sports will impart knowledge on the environment and prevent future losses from wildlife.
Awareness creation and education on cheetahs and environmental conservation through sports (football) will have a positive impact in the Salama community. The impact of the event will be determined by the number of cases of human-cheetah (predator) conflict reported to ACK in the area. For instance, we predict that cases of livestock losses to cheetahs and other predators will decline by 15% after the football tournament as the community will be educated on how to build or make their bomas predator-proof. The community will also be educated on better livestock husbandry practices such as use of deterrents to keep away wild animals from their farms or good herding practices to protect their livestock from predators while grazing. Impact will also be measured by the turnout and active participation of community members in barazas and other environmental activities.
Qualitatively, impact of the event will be assessed by the change in attitude and perception of the community towards wild animals. It will also be determined by the sustainable use of available natural resources in the area.
Action for Cheetahs in Kenya intends to make “Champions4Cheetahs” Spots Football tournament an annual event which will be held every year near 4thDecember during the International Cheetah Day. ACK’s future plan is to raise funds, partner with other organizations and community members to ensure the success in reaching a greater audience and player participation.