KAZA TFCA has many distinguishing features of global importance, among them the largest contiguous population of African elephant on the continent, numbering approximately a quarter of a million animals. Of significant benefit to both the local communities and this huge meta-elephant population will be the establishment of one of Zambia’s first conservancies, the Simalaha Community Conservancy, spanning the Sisheke and Chundu chiefdoms. The Conservancy will be an important area in KAZA TFCA to re-establish wildlife populations and their migration routes and will ultimately link Chobe National Park in Botswana to Kafue National Park in Zambia.
Establishing the Conservancy
Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta of the Sisheke Chiefdom and Chief Sekute of the Chundu Chiefdom agreed to establish the Simalaha Community Conservancy as an area to re-establish wildlife populations and a mechanism to stimulate community benefits through wildlife and tourism development.
With funding received from WWF Germany, the first steps in the establishment of the Conservancy were taken. Through a consultative process with the local communities, the boundaries of the Conservancy were determined.
On 22 October 2012 the Simalaha Community Conservancy was officially launched by Chief Sekute of the Chundu Chiefdom and Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta of the Sisheke Chiefdom (above). They also opened the Conservancy offices at the Mwandi Kuta, kindly made available by Senior Chief Yeta. The Senior Chief thanked the Mava Foundation for Nature and the Swedish Postcode Lottery for their support to the Conservancy.
On the same day, the teachers accommodation at the Mwandi School in Simalaha, built thanks to Stichting Energo, were officially handed over.
The MAVA Foundation for Nature is kindly supporting the first phase development of the project.
Their funds are being used to erect a 20 km game fence around a 12 000 ha wildlife enclosure or sanctuary. The contained area will allow for the relocation of wildlife to a secure environment where local community members can be trained as field rangers.
The MAVA funds are also used for the construction of field ranger camps and the drilling of boreholes to provide water for the ranger stations and wildlife. Some of the funding will be used for the capture and translocation of the seed populations of different wildlife species donated by ZAWA. This activity is planned during the winter months of 2013 when the sanctuary will be completely fenced.
As more funding becomes available and capacity to manage the area improves, the sanctuary fences will be removed to allow wildlife to move into the larger area.
Swedish Postcode Lottery support
On 11 May 2012 the Swedish Postcode Lottery announced a donation of of SEK10 million for a special programme to be implemented in the Simalaha Community Conservancy in Zambia. This follows on an application jointly submitted by Peace Parks Foundation Sweden and the Joaquim Chissano Foundation.
The programme funded by the Swedish Postcode Lottery will focus on a community-based approach to natural resource management that will improve local ownership and access to basic human rights, such as access to food, health, shelter and education by responsibly managing natural resources and wildlife.
The programme constitutes four projects, namely the establishment of two wildlife sanctuaries, training in conservation agriculture, training in controlled grazing, and the introduction of fuel efficient stoves, which will all bring socio-economic benefit flows to the community.
Please support the creation of a wildlife dispersal route for this elephant population at PIFWorld