By: Salani Justin
This year the Savé Valley Conservancy teamed up with Lion Recovery Fund (LRF) to produce a participatory human-lion conflict management plan for Conservancy and the communities surrounding it.
These participatory projects are paramount in understanding the potential conflict between the wildlife and the communities and finding a solution with the best interests for both. The engagement also offers said community’s further education on the importance of wildlife conservation, what they can do in their lives to manage it and the opportunity to contribute their ideas for a sustainable way forward.
21 wards were sampled within the 5 districts surrounding the Savé Valley Conservancy. Participants from Buhera, Bikita, Zaka, Chipinge and Chiredzi all gathered and met with SVC team consisting of ecologist Justice Muvengwi, technical consultant Bella and project administrator Dumisani Ntini to discuss how to best protect the communities and the lion equally
Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were organised to establish the main incidents, sightings and community insights. The main objective is to best assist a positive outcome of this current conflict, the way forward of which is as follows.
- Establishing a procedure for Problem Animal Control in the SVC
- Continue with government negotiations in delineating land uses between people & wildlife
- Raise funds to erect an electric fence around the Conservancy
- Community scouts and monitors to be implemented to patrol boundaries
- Education for the communities in livestock husbandry & construction of effective kraals
- Lion collars and trackers.
The Savé Valley Conservancy thanks the LRF for their funding support and dedication in this area
The SVC plans to engage in more community projects and communication for the purposes of education, and offering the local people the opportunity to understand the ways in which we can work together to conserve & protect the wildlife and its natural habitat.
—Save Valley Conservancy