We will be putting this project on hold since incoming funding was low and insufficient for us to do justice to this important program. We thank all who have so unselfishly donated funds to this project and for identifying with our needs.
A Community guardian is the interlink between the community and wildlife authorities. This person collects data on human-wildlife conflict, checks out incidents, reports these incidents to us (ALERT) and we then try and mitigate wildlife predation incidents in such a way that the wildlife and the community is protected. The guardian will talk with affected communities, find out why there have been incidences of stock killings by carnivores and make recommendations. Frequently we find that villagers do not have adequate livestock-holding facilities, or do not put their livestock in pens at night, and if this is the case we give advice and material assistance if the villager is willing.
In the case of livestock predation by lions or spotted hyaena, ALERT erects predator-proof livestock holding pens in the conflict “hot-spots” or helps villagers build sturdier predator-proof traditional-style pens.
The Community guardian’s role is important but this person needs consistent support in order to maintain respect and credibility with the community in which he/she works. At present, due to low funding and our own financial difficulties due to Covid, we will put this project on hold.
A total of $522.55 was raised out of a target of $6,600 for this project. The funds so far raised has been used to buy a bicycle, a GPS, tape measure (to measure predator footprints), stationary, clipboards, cell phone airtime etc. We will resurrect this project when finances improve but will continue to keep it viable by regularly meeting with the local government authority in charge of the village areas and the Chief of the area.
Finally we would like you to know that through your donations and support we were able to produce a working document entitled “Human-wildlife conflict in the Chizarira National Park buffer Communities: Status report and mitigation strategies”. The data for this document was obtained with the help of a Community Guardian and put together by the ALERT team. Just recently the document was presented to all stakeholders in the area at a Rural District Council meeting. Our mitigation strategies as recommended by us in the document are now being implemented.
You can be proud and assured that your support has made a difference.Attachments: