Support program for pastoralism areas of action of FERUS, a conservation association for large predators in France.2 October 2019
From my lion work in the past, 90% of cattle killed by lions are killed when grazing without a herder. When I was a child in Zimbabwe, I never saw a herd of cattle alone without a herder. Therefore, something has changed.
When we ask what has changed, the answer is that the herders, traditionally young men, do not want to herd cattle today. They prefer Facebook and fancy shoes and different jobs. Yet, herding is vital for the survival of the cattle in the face of predators and the regeneration of grasslands. We have taken on the challenge to make herding an opportunity for a Facebook page and a job and fancy shoes and thereby keep the young men here but give them the future they want using herding as that tool. We employ a carpenter to teach them carpentry, we have trained them to use an industrial sewing machine and they now sew the mobile bomas that they use to keep cattle safe and fertilise their fields. They put their individual herds of cattle together into bigger collective herds and that means they do turns so each get time away from herding to learn in the workshop (improve their skills and get the certificate?) (.. Skills, income, fertilizing fields, safe cattle, regenerating grasslands, and stop the killing of lions.