By Dr Norman Monks - Director Research and Conservation
Whilst COVID-19 was a sudden and unexpected blight in our lives which caused a great deal of heartache and financial stress, the waning of this pandemic has not produced immediate positive changes. Businesses are not able to immediately bounce back into full recovery and our previous business sponsors doubt that they will be in full production before the end of 2022.
ALERT was supported primarily by two businesses that had tourism as their core business. With Covid-19 travel was stopped and the tourism industry mostly collapsed. Funding for ALERT came to a halt from this source but we were approached by Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF – Harare), who wanted us to continue our lion and elephant research in the 1,910km² Chizarira National Park. Their support also extended to the work we are doing with the surrounding communities.
This funding certainly helped to keep the projects going and a local business (not involved in the tourism industry) decided to pitch in and help with fuel and vehicle services. Another business onated a full set of tyres for our ageing research vehicle. Despite this generous support, we were still left with a running monthly deficit of funding but through GlobalGiving and the assistance and sacrifice by families of ALERT staff we have been able to fulfil the commitment that we have made to conservation and research.
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