Competition for limited natural resources causes conflict between communities and wildlife
Mola is a remote village in Zimbabwe where harsh conditions and poor soil negatively impacts the community’s ability to sustain themselves
The communities livestock represents their livelihoods and so attacks on cattle by predators have further devastating effects
The Foundation has partnered with the community and aims to implement various techniques to restore harmony between people and wildlife
Mola is a remote village near the Bumi Hills Safari Lodge where agricultural conditions are poor which results in poor food security.
The inadequate production of crop yields also impacts their economic development.
The levels of human-wildlife conflict stem from opportunistic attacks on livestock, mainly by lions.
In an effort to produce enough crops, large areas of natural landscape are cleared limiting the availability of natural prey species for predators. As a result, predators prey opportunistically on cattle.
Communities wealth is invested in livestock and the loss of one cow can be disastrous to a family. By extension, the local perception of predators deteriorates, and their presence is no longer tolerated.
In the best interest of wildlife and the people, the Foundation is implementing a human-wildlife coexistence programme. The introduction of mobile lion-proof cattle bomas, deters predators and thereby reducing attacks on livestock. By training and equipping Lion Guardians and setting up camera traps to monitor lion movements, the community has an early warning system in place. By rotating the bomas around farmland, livestock fertilise the soil improving crop yields which also reduces the need for the amount of land required for agriculture.
Conservation Clubs at schools will help further this idea of coexistence through educating the students on the benefits of preserving ecosystems.
These practices aim to reduce human-wildlife conflict, improve perception & tolerance of predators and empower the community by giving them the opportunity to be more self-sustainable.
Where competition for natural resources leads to conflict, it is possible to restore harmony between people and wildlife that share vulnerable wilderness areas for their mutual benefit.
Three complimentary interventions are implemented:
The bomas protect livestock from predators thereby reducing instances of depredation which means that there is no need for the community to retaliate against predators.
By rotating the bomas around agricultural land, nutrient rich manure from the livestock fertilises the fields. This increases crop yields which improves food security and reduces the amount of land cleared for farming.
Conservation agriculture training further improves the sustainable use of limited resources such as water. Incorporating veterinary services for the cattle protects livestock from diseases and adds security to livelihoods.
Lion guardians monitor lion movements to be able to warn the community when they are nearby. This gives people the opportunity to corral their cattle into the bomas for protection. In doing so, attacks on livestock are reduced as are the negative connotations attached to the predators in the community’s minds.
These benefits combined with conservation education in local schools aim to improve the perception and tolerance of wildlife in the area amongst youth.
$65,000 is needed to complete this project.
$15 will buy one bag of seed for planting crops
$30 will sponsor a farmer’s conversation agriculture training
$60 will provide veterinary care for one family’s cattle
$120 will sponsor a conservation education activity for local primary schools
$175 will buy a bicycle for a Lion Guardian
$240 will sponsor a Lion Guardian for a month
$300 will buy a camera trap for predator presence research
$1200 will buy a lion-proof mobile cattle boma
The Mola Community is located on the shores of Lake Kariba. This area of the country was drastically changed during the filling on the world’s largest man-made lake between 1958 -1963, which resulted in the displacement of large populations of wildlife, as well as the Tonga tribes living here. This forced displacement to harsher and less fertile lands, along with minimal access to infrastructure, has meant unusually high competition for natural resources between humans and wildlife. Human-wildlife conflict case numbers are high, and as a result animosity for impeding wildlife and poaching activity is commonplace.
With the reopening of Bumi Hills Safari lodge under the African Bush Camps portfolio in 2017, our relationship with the Mola community began and human-wildlife was identified as the key issue to be addressed. The Bumi Hills Anti-poaching Unit works alongside the Foundation in the area.