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KWS Fencing Program

Electric fences and other forms of wildlife proof barriers (moats, ditches etc)  are but one  of the strategies employed by KWS within and outside protected areas to minimize cases of human wildlife conflicts. KWS works very closely with the affected communities during formulation as well as implementation of the fencing projects for support and ownership.
Fences are game prove barriers that control movement of wildlife from the protected areas to areas outside the protected area system where we have settlements and other human activities. They are also used as a security enclosure for both people and wild animals in wildlife areas. These barriers are erected where they serve as appropriate solution to persistent problem of damage to agricultural crops or to property or other threats to people’s livelihoods. KWS has erected fences along the perimeter of certain parks and reserves in order to minimize human wildlife conflicts. For example lake Nakuru National Park, Northern part of Nairobi National Park, Mt. Kenya National Park and Aberdare National Park. Currently there are about 1245 kms of fences in existence in protected and non protected areas.

fencing

Fences are classified in two broad areas namely.

  • Physical Barrier-(Stone wall, Barbed wire, Chain link, Live hedge, moat etc) -these controls movement by their physical strength.
  • Psychological Barrier (Electric fence) these are barriers that control wildlife by a wave of sharp, short, but safe shocks which is sufficiently memorable that they never forget.

Types of fences
There are three main electric and one non-electric fence designs in wildlife areas:-

  1. Simple Elephant fence – 5-8 strands of wire
  2. Intermediate fence design – 10-16 strands of wire.
  3. Comprehensive fence design – 4-8 strands of live wire and a mesh below and underground.
  4. Chain link mesh wire fence.

Electric Fences
This is a psychological barrier using mains, or solar energy power stepped up through an energizer which is based on high energy, low impotence pulse released through the wire if touched by an animal gives a sharp short but safe shock, the power fence does not need to have physical strength because it seldom comes under pressure but it must be well designed and constructed to absorb impact of animals

Challenges in fence maintenance

  • High cost of maintenance of the existing fences;
  • High community (stakeholder) expectations about fences;
  • Environmental issues around the fenced areas;
  • Counterfeit fence materials in the market;
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