Sidinda CAMPFIRE Wildlife Conservancy has received 100 buffalo from Victoria Falls National Park (managed by Wild Horizon). This follows successful capture and translocation of the animals on 27-28 August 2018 as part of the Command Wildlife programme, and funded under auspices of the Hwange Sanyati Biological Corridor (HSBC) project supported by the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank and coordinated by WWF Zimbabwe Country Office.
The Community Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) Association is the lead agency for the livelihoods improvement subcomponent of the project, and through this and other upcoming initiatives, it seeks to enhance livelihood security for vulnerable communities threatened by climate change, human and wildlife conflict and diminishing natural resources.
Hwange National Park’s eastern boundary, which stretches for over 220kms, is maintained with the co-operation of adjacent communities. CAMPFIRE Communities in Bulilima district from Point 222 at corner with Botswana, all the way northwards through Korodziba/Makona in Tsholotsho, connecting to the Ngamo Forest boundary, provide an important conservation buffer zone. Tsholotsho district was granted Appropriate Authority Status for the management of wildlife in 1991, and has 11 Wards that benefit from the CAMPFIRE Programme.
CAMPFIRE Philosophy and Human-Wildlife Conflict
Due to poor rainfall, the absence of rural infrastructure, most notably roads and, in some cases, the presence of tsetse fly, human settlement and cultivation has been minimal in most of the areas where CAMPFIRE was first implemented. Typically, the wildlife producing areas are located towards the margins of the country and nearly all are adjacent to state protected wildlife areas. In these areas, the local communities have voluntarily set aside large tracts of wild land and adopted wildlife production systems, both consumptive and non-consumptive, based on free ranging game whose populations varies considerably between districts and within districts.
Introduction and Background
The Gorges Lodge is a joint venture photographic tourism project between Matupula Safaris ( a private safari company ) and the local communities of Chisuma Village (under Ward 2) in Hwange District. The lodge is strategically situated within communal land 22 kilometers from the world-famous majestic Victoria Falls. The project was conceived, developed and operates under the auspicies and principles of the CAMPFIRE project. The project aim is to involve local communities in the conservation of natural resources that attract tourists to the area while simultaneously generating financial and social benefits from activities taking place locally and within the general environs of Victoria Falls.
During the period 2010-2015, human and wildlife conflict in Zimbabwe’s communal areas has resulted in the loss of 88 lives,
Over 5000 livestock, 6000 hectares of crops, and irrigation and water supply equipment.
Some of the recent deaths include school children and heads of households as shown below:
CAMPFIRE has a combined 2.4 million beneficiaries, made up of 200,000 households that actively participate in the program, and another 600,000 households that benefit indirectly from social services and infrastructure supported by CAMPFIRE income within districts. There are in excess of 120 elected and constituted Village and Ward CAMPFIRE Committees that operate through specific Traditional Leaders in their areas. ‘Communal' in the acronym CAMPFIRE, has since been changed to ‘Community' in order to focus on communities instead of the geographic spread of the programme.