Human-wildlife mitigation measures bearing fruit

THE Wildlife Conservation Action Trust’s human-wildlife conflict (HWC) mitigation projects in Nyaminyami (Kariba rural) and Mbire districts are bearing fruit.

The projects are aimed at building local communities’ capacity to protect and co-exist with wildlife, while improving their livelihoods.

The Nyaminyami Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) project has been on-going in Mola communal areas, Nyaminyami, for the past two years.

Since inception of the project, nine community guardians known as Batabilili in the Tonga language and two mobile Boma tailors were trained and employed by the project. The guardians are responsible for responding to, and attending to HWC incidences, while mobile Boma tailors do installation, shifting and monitoring of kraal assessments and renovations, random herd assessments, occupancy surveys and spoor transects.

“A total of 266 traditional kraals were renovated in both ward 3 and ward 4 of Nyaminyami to improve on kraal visibility, kraal height and pole strength,” Moreangels Mbiza, the founder and executive director of Wildlife Conservation Action Trust told NewsDay.

“The total incidences of livestock predation were reduced by 29,1% (calculated using incident proportion index). Ten smart mobile phones, ten bicycles, WiFi, a printer, laptop and a solar power system were some of the items bought for the Nyaminyami HWC project team to capacitate them for safe, effective and efficient conduction of their duties. A project vehicle was purchased and deployed in Nyaminyami.  A sewing machine was purchased and two community members were trained and employed as mobile Boma tailors.

"Quarterly livestock management system workshops were conducted to educate the community farmers on the importance of livestock management. The community farmers have now improved and become more responsible for kraaling and herding of their livestock in every season of the year. WCA also purchased Agro-vet chemicals for Boma beneficiaries with the main thrust being reduction of livestock-wildlife disease transmission.

"Wildlife Conservation Action has been implementing human-wildlife conflict mitigation projects in Nyaminyami ward 3 and ward 4 for the past two years.  It is now time to take the lessons learnt and knowledge gained and expand this project to Nebiri ward 7 and ward 8, Musampakaruma ward 9 and ward 10 and Kanyati ward 11 due to the need in these areas for interventions on conflicts of large carnivores,” Mbiza added.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Tinashe Farawo recently said every year crocodile and elephant attacks account for most of the human deaths and injuries in wildlife areas.

“The year 2021 witnessed 71 deaths and 50 injuries compared to 60 deaths and 40 injuries in 2020.  

“Elephants and crocodiles accounted for 90% of deaths followed by lions and buffalos. We are raising awareness and asking people to desist from going into areas where they may get attacked by wild animals. But they tell us that they need to survive and will go back to fishing, even after a crocodile attack,” he said.

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