Exciting things are happening in the Plumtree region, located to the south-east of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Thanks to generous funding from Edward Allen Bell, ‘The Tshabolisa Project’ is coming along in leaps and bounds.
This area has been extremely marginalised over the years, and human-wildlife conflict and overgrazing have had devastating effects on the land. The aim of this project is to work with the community and help them improve the diversity and productivity of the area, while generating an income for those living there.
Community meetings were undertaken with chiefs and elders to establish wish lists for the development of the area, as well as address issues such as poaching, deforestation, and overgrazing.
So far, two boreholes have been drilled, and one older borehole has been blown out. All three boreholes now have high yields, making a significant difference for nearby villages. A motorbike has also been purchased for security, anti-poaching, and patrolling. As a result of the anti-poaching team’s presence, more wildlife has been seen in the area, including various antelope species, zebras, hyaenas and jackals, while leopards are often heard calling.
Ten community members are currently employed, with this number set to rise as the project continues. Rainfall over the last few weeks has put several projects on hold as the ground is just too wet to work on. However, as soon as the rain subsides, these projects will start up again.
We look forward to providing future updates over the coming months. Thanks again to Edward Allen Bell for his generous funding of this project and for the difference that it will make in the lives of all those who live there, as well as for the landscape and environment as a whole.
Report by Sarah Adams, CITW Zambezi Community Sustainability and Evaluation Trainer