BY OBERT SIAMILANDU
SURVIVORS of wildlife attacks in Masoka, Mbire district, Mashonaland Central province, are making soap for a living following a recent donation of raw materials and training from the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).
AWF community-based natural resources management officer Collen Mathema said conservation interventions should prioritise the livelihoods of people in wildlife hotspots.
“Human-wildlife conflict victims either lose lives, limbs which affects their livelihoods. AWF recognised that livelihoods of the victims of human wildlife conflicts have been neglected for a very long time,” Mathema said.
“Victims in Masoka organised themselves and AWF supported them with material and training in entrepreneurship as a way of ensuring they are able to improve their livelihoods.”
Human-wildlife conflict remains a significant problem in Zimbabwe’s villages bordering wildlife areas with smallholder farmers losing crops and lives, while some have suffered injuries following wildlife attacks.
In 2021, 71 people lost their lives to wildlife attacks compared to 40 the previous year.