With the assistance from the IAAF’s landmark social responsibility programme Athletics for a Better World (ABW), the Big Life Foundation USA has built a radio repeater station in the middle of the Randilen Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Tanzania.
Randilen Outpost, where the repeater is located, is the only ranger station outside Mt Kilimanjaro National Park on the eastern side and is critically important for surveillance and elephant conservation in the area.
The repeater station will assist the rangers’ efforts to protect this area, which is prone to elephant poaching.
A key component of ABW is that stake holders can add value to their own work in the fields of health, environment, social inclusion and peace. This project embraces all four of these pillars.
- The radio repeater station will help rangers coordinate better and keep safe from harm, thus promoting good health.
- It will facilitate the protection of elephants and other wildlife from poachers within the WMA area while using clean solar energy, a double-gain for the environment.
- It will be used by the local Maasai people who are employed as rangers, which will enhance social inclusion and the engagement of the local communities.
- The radio repeater station may also at times be used to help prevent and/or mitigate human-elephant conflict, thus allowing both species to co-exist harmoniously in the area.
"We are so grateful for ABW's generous support of our operations in East Africa protecting wildlife and wild lands, commented Big Life Foundation USA Associate Director Amy Baird.
Created in 2013, the Randilen Wildlife Management Area covers 315 square kilometres (77,800 acres) of open plains and baobab-studded savannah, and forms the north eastern boundary of Tarangire National Park.
In addition to elephants, the WMA also hosts buffalo, kudu, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, lion, hyena, and many more species. Eight villages, with approximately 17,000 people, are part of the WMA.
Since 2014, the Big Life Foundation USA, with other partners, have supported the leaders and rangers of the WMA in order to better protect the local wildlife and support communities.
The newly-constructed radio repeater station at Randilen’s ranger station will help vastly improve communications, not only among the ranger units within the WMA but other units throughout the vast Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem.
The radio repeater station is now supporting 15 rangers at Manyara Ranch and 20 rangers in the Randilen Wildlife Management Area, all of whom are actively using the network to improve operations.
In the near future, the station will also support 30 rangers in the Burunge Wildlife Management Area, 15 rangers from the Tanzania People and Wildlife Fund, and over 40 rangers working with Tarangire National Park.
Big Life Foundation USA for the IAAF