A 7,000-pound problem

In the 1980s, Uganda’s elephants population dropped to as low as 700-800 elephants. They were on the path to extinction. 

Over time things got better, all thanks to stronger protection policies across Uganda’s ten national parks. 

Today, there are more than 5,000 elephants in Uganda. 

But local farmers weren't always happy with the good news. In 2010, a group of 460 farmers in Kasese District tried to sue Uganda Wildlife Authority. 

They were pissed because elephants often escaped from Queen Elizabeth National Park. And entered neighboring farms where they ate and destroyed crops.

Santo Okello was another farmer facing the same 7,000-pound problem. Like many other farmers, he had seen his sesame garden destroyed over and over again. Always by elephants.

In the town of Nwoya, where Okello lives, farmers had tried everything to protect their crops. They'd take turns guarding their crops at night, banging pots to scare elephants away. Or setting small fires near their farms. 

Nothing worked. 

In 2009, Okullu was invited by the International Fund for Animal Welfare to travel to Tsavo East National Park in Kenya. 

This trip was life changing. Okullu discovered something totally unexpected.  

It turns out elephants are scared of bees. And Kenyan farmers exploited this fear to design a beehive fence system. 

They hang hives between trees with a simple wire. So when an elephant crosses between two beehives, it shakes the hives, and alerts the bees they have visitors. And as soon as the elephants hear bee sounds, they run away. 

Today, Okullu and 250 other Ugandan farmers use the same security system to protect their farms from elephant attacks: A fence made of beehives. 

In the business world, if we all focus more on SMALL solutions, together we can actually solve BIG and real-world problems. 

Your pal,

Miguel Ferreira
Founder & Chief Copywriter, Teardwn + Nishi + Jack Had A Groove FM