Empowering communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

26.01.2021

A group of Elephants in Muchision Falls National Park
Credits : Environmental Governance Institute

CONSERVATION PROBLEM

Communities in the Murchison belt use tourism as a source of livelihood. However, with the closing of the borders following the COVID-19 outbreak, they cannot count on it anymore. As a result, they don’t have access to basic necessities such as food and income. Uncertain of how to survive the lockdown, the affected communities have started exploiting a protected area to get by. Poaching, clearing of forests for charcoal burning and illegal logging has increased in the area, destroying the unique habitats of many endangered species.

Urgent intervention is needed, not only to protect wildlife, but to also help the local communities develop alternative sources of income.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

  • Develop and diversify the livelihoods of the local communities in the Muchison falls landscape;
  • Generate income from their newly acquired skills;
  • Promote conservation.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES

  • Conduct a survey within the affected communities to establish the magnitude of the pandemic’s impact and identify possible livelihood options;
  • Organize four capacity building trainings on alternative land use, such as agriculture and bee-keeping;
  • Organize two trainings on conservation benefits and their links to community livelihood;
  • Train community members on how to take photos and videos in order to document key conservation areas, which will be sold to generate income;
  • Train community members on how to write newsletters documenting conservation, which will be sold to generate income;
  • Facilitate the communication between communities by creating a blog, whose ad space will be sold to generate income;
  • Train women and girls on organic catering services for local events in the area;
  • Organize three empowerment training sessions on the role of cultural institutions in promoting conservation.


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