A Mombasa wildlife conservatory is turning elephant dung collected from roads into big business – and in the process, keeping community wildlife reserve landowners happy and helping elephant population recovery.
- Since 2014, Kenya's elephant population has almost doubled, with poaching incidences declining.
- A community-owned project that makes paper out of elephant dung is also contributing to their conservation by avoiding cutting trees.
- So far, the biggest threat to elephant survival is climate change.
Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary chairperson Salim Mwanyongwe is a happy man. The reserve he helps run is increasingly being recognised as a conservation success story. And so is one of the ecotourism experiment's most important economic activities: the production of elephant dung paper.
"The processed product is sold in Nairobi and exported to neighboring Tanzania. The facility is community-owned, and the entire income generated goes to the community. Most of the country's paper made from dung comes from here," Mwanyongwe said of the product, which is produced from elephant dung recovered from the area's roads.