According to the BBC, the Kenyan government has approved a proposal to construct an electric fence around the country’s tallest mountain, the 5199-meter (17,057-foot) Mt. Kenya. The plan, which is backed by several conservation groups, was developed to help keep wild animals from straying onto farmland and destroying crops there.
The project is a collaboration between Rhino Ark, an organization dedicated to conservation in Kenya, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Forest Service. The three groups feel that the electrified fence will not only protect the crops but the animals as well. When wildlife strays onto farmland, it often comes into conflict with the farmers that live there. The fence will help prevent those kinds of interactions, saving the lives of animals in the process.
When completed, the fence will stretch for more than 250 miles and surround about 772 square miles. It’ll stand 2 meters in height and extend another meter into the ground, just to ensure that especially determined critters are kept at bay. Construction started this past week with the first segment expected to be finished in early 2014. The entire project will wrap up in about five years at a total cost of $11.8 million.
Lest this seem like an overly ambitious endeavor it should be pointed out that Rhino Ark has completed a similar project in the past. The organization spent 12 years fencing in the Aberdare Mountains, the source of the clean water supply for Nairobi.