Our One Health project with Shangaan women around Gonarezhou National Park aims to provide emergency food aid to 200 vulnerable households and to build longer-term resilience with nutrition gardens managed by 200 women. The COVID crisis froze all tourism activity on which Mahenye community's livelihood depends while the country faces an unprecedented drought. Our project supports women who, as managers of family nutrition and health, are key to a balanced Human-Wildlife cohabitation.
The Shangaan people of the remote community of Mahenye now struggle with one of the worst food crisis with which they've ever had to deal. The livelihood of 7,000 people there is dependent on eco-tourism but this source of employment and revenues has stopped with the COVID-19 crisis. Together with drought conditions and no prospect of a crop harvest, food insecurity is such that people, who have an ancestral tradition of hunting, might shift towards unsustainable wildlife use.
One Health is a holistic approach which recognizes that human health, animal health and ecosystem health are inextricably connected. Our One Health project with Shangaan women will provide emergency food relief to the most vulnerable households in Mahenye while also developing two nutrition gardens providing for around 100 families each. This will improve food security in the short and long term and support women in their key role in child development and education, family health.
Shangaan people will be more resilient to the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to live according to their appreciation of the value of wildlife inherited from their ancestors. A precious ecosystem harboring one of the healthiest elephant population in Africa will be preserved. Moreover, the holistic One Health model which produces multiple outcomes for local people, their animals and their environment will be easily replicated through the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area.
Odyssey Conservation Trust