Our human-wildlife co-existence project, in partnership with Wildlife Conservation Action (WCA) and Bumi Hills Anti-Poaching Unit (BHAPU), has been in full swing since January 2022.
Our mobile lion bomas are a critical tool in our efforts to mitigate human-wildlife conflict in the community. Regular assessments, maintenance and repairs were carried out on the lion bomas in the community. We replaced the material covers for most of the bomas to prevent easy access into the boma by lions and other predators. The bomas are heavily affected by the rainy season this year as the weakening of the soil due to muddy grounds causes the structures to sag. We moved the bomas that were affected by the rain to more stable and dryer ground. Moving the bomas remains beneficial in fertilising the soil in the new area.
Our conservation club in Mangwara is ongoing, with a club set to open in Mayovhe in July 2022. The Mangwara club has 20 pupils, and we have recently updated the training materials and program at the clubs. The club provides regular training to learners on the importance of conservation and wildlife. Through this initiative, we are equipping learners with the knowledge and skills that they need to play their part in effectively and safely conserving wildlife and natural resources in their communities. These clubs are the critical link between education and conservation as well as bridging the knowledge gap among families and communities on co-existing with wildlife along the border of the national park.
We are grateful for your ongoing support and generous donations towards our conservation efforts in Zimbabwe.
One year into COVID-19 and we are so grateful for all your support and your donations to the Mola Co-existence Project. Thank you for all you have done for us and all you continue to make possible with your generous donations.
As of right now, we have received over 60 donations to the project – and we are grateful for the role you have played in this.
Currently, the project has 11 BOMAs around the various villages in which we work. These villages are housing 243 cattle and as from the inception of the project, the cattle have been receiving treatment. Further, by shifting the 11 BOMAs in an effort to improve land use, we have been able to make 0.9173 hectares of land fertile. On this fertile land, farmers have been able to grow crops like maize and sorghum – meaning an improved crop yield.
An area of improvement that we’ve been to focus on is improving the type of materials used in order to strengthen the poles that serve as part of the BOMA structure. Previously, the poles were not as strong as required, and now, farmers are being urged to build kraals using strong material, with the recommended height of above 1.5 and improved invisibility.
Despite the challenging times we’ve all faced and continue to face, we are proud of the improvements across the communities we serve – and this is largely as a result of your generosity.
Thank you for your generous donations to our Mola Co-existence Project.
One of the big challenges we've faced in the Mola area is being disconnected, but that's all about to change. A solar power system has finally been installed at our little base in the community.
This system will allow our Project team to stay connected and provide a place for our Lion Guardians and Human-Wildlife Conflict Officers to charge their equipment, stay in touch and share critical data on the movement and behaviour of predators.
In September, we made our first attempt to collar lions active in the communal areas. Unfortunately, we were only able to find one set of tracks and after a week of tracking, the lion continued to elude us. We're hoping for better luck with our next attempt, but with the rainy season now firmly upon us, it may be a few months before we have the right conditions again.
All 11 cattle bomas are functioning and currently accommodate 179 heads of livestock. Veterinary care has continued monthly, and throughout the year we have maintained a minimum of 85% dipping and vaccinating coverage throughout the year, despite the COVID-19 lockdowns and complications.
As we wind down project activity for the year, I would like to once again give each of you our most sincere thanks for your continued support. You have made sure that this project continues to provide support to a community's livelihoods during uncertain times.
From all of us at the African Bush Camps Foundation, we hope you have a wonderful festive season and look forward to updating you next year.
After months of uncertainty and things looking rather bleak once or twice, I am so pleased to be sharing this update with you.
Training for our Lion Guardians which was previously put on hold has now taken place. A particular focus of these training sessions was learning the ropes using of the lion monitoring systems such as the GPS and telemetry tracking equipment which recently arrived on site. The two lion collars have also finally arrived and, in partnership with the National Parks Authority, local researchers and anti-poaching units, plans are now underway to collar and closely monitor two individuals known to frequent nearby community lands.
In additional to the telemetry equipment and lion collars, we have been able to purchase radios for our field team and the Lion Guardians as well as a small solar system to charge them and boost the radio signal. This has been a priority since the project was first started.
The 11 lion-proof cattle bomas held up well against the torrential downpours and occasional flooding of this year's extensive rainy season and are now protecting 179 heads of cattle. These cattle have all been sprayed and had their vaccinations updated, protecting them from dangerous diseases that could have claimed the lives of many, with disastrous effects on the livelihoods of their owners.
From the whole team at the African Bush Camps Foundation, you have our most sincere thanks for your critical support during these challenging and uncertain last few months. Your donations ensured that the Lion Guardians remained employed, that the community's livelihoods were protected and that there was hope for the future of this project which protects the delicate balance of harmony between people and wildlife in this beautiful and fragile place.
We hope that you and your families are all safe and well during this challenging time.
As COIVD-19 swept across the globe in the last few months and Zimbabwe joined the many countries under a national lockdown, all project work was put on hold.
Before this happened, the Mola Wildlife Coexistence Project was doing very well. The new year started with 40 children joining our Conservation Clubs in the area, learning about conservation, the environment and how healthy ecosystems contribute to healthy communities. Thanks to your kind support, we planted almost 200 fruit trees which will be tended by the Conservation Clubs and hopefully soon, bear fruit to supplement the local school children's diets and improve food security.
The number of lion-proof cattle bomas grew to 11, and all cattle received veterinary care including their vaccinations. No livestock were lost to disease or predation during this reporting period. 73% more land was enriched with natural fertiliser from rotating the cattle bomas, crops were planted and are growing well.
The Lion Guardians' training and all other planned activities have unfortunately been postponed until it is safe to travel and hold gatherings. The wellbeing of the communities and our staff remains our top priority and we are grateful that no cases of the virus have been reported in the area.
Thank you once again for your kind and generous support. We look forward to sharing good news with you all again soon.
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