Safaricom launches m-Twiga, an AI powered solution to deter human wildlife conflict

Safaricom has partnered with Vodafone and WWF to launch m-Twiga, an AI powered solution intended to deter human wildlife conflict.

m-Twiga is a cutting-edge 360-camera system which combines Internet of Things (IoT) and AI technology to detect and identify animals within the vicinity. When an animal is detected, the camera system reacts by sending out an SMS to alert the wildlife rangers of the animals’ presence and activate a deterrent, such as flashing lights or specific sounds to ward off the animal.

Human-wildlife conflict occurs when animals and people stray into each other’s ecosystems or compete for the same resources, leading to a negative result. Examples unfortunately include wild animals attacking and injuring or killing people, destroying crops, or killing livestock, which often leads to retaliatory killing of the animals. The far-reaching impacts of climate change, and the ever-shrinking habitats, make the situation worse.

Following testing at the UK’s Longleat Safari Park, the team recently carried out their first field test in Kenya. According to WWF Kenya, over 60% of the country’s wildlife live in communities and private lands outside Protected Areas, where human-wildlife conflict cases are most common.

Evaluating the solution in Kenya’s Mara Siana Community Conservancy has allowed the development team to collect a vast amount of data on animals in their natural habitat, which supports the AI model to work more quickly and effectively to identify them.