The Sidinda Conservancy is located about 60 miles downstream of Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe. The conservancy encompasses about 150,000 acres and is one of the CAMPFIRE areas in the country. The Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) is a community-based natural resource management program in Zimbabwe. It uses wildlife as a renewable natural resource from which communities can generate revenue from sustainable hunting to fund development.
The AWCC was approached by Mbalabala Safaris, the hunting safari operator in the area.
Mbalabala Safaris is contracted by CAMPFIRE to assist the community in managing its wildlife. Mbalabala uses members of Sidinda village for anti-poaching operations as well as for wildlife relocation projects. There are 14 members of the anti-poaching team and they conduct operations on both land and the Zambezi river. When they took over the concession in 2014, most of the plains game and buffalo had been wiped out by poachers. To restock the area 100 Cape buffalo were released into the conservancy along with kudu, waterbuck and zebra.
Members of the AWCC had previously visited the communal areas near the Sidinda Conservancy and knew the need for fresh water there. Like many rural areas in Zimbabwe, Sidinda village has suffered from water shortages and drought. The villagers had been walking a distance of 8 kilometers to fetch water from a dirty stream.
A plan was hatched to restore the old communal borehole to operating condition. The old pump was broken and diesel fuel is hard to come by and expensive. Both the AWCC and Mbalabala Safaris knew we needed to get fresh water to the village. The AWCC provided the funds for the project and Mbalabala procured the necessary equipment including a pump and solar panels. When the supplies were brought to the village everyone worked together on the construction. This way the villagers have a vested interest in the borehole and it is a source of pride for them.
After the installation of the borehole and with fresh water flowing a community garden was constructed. Irrigation pipes were laid and seeds planted and now the village has a supply of fresh vegetables. Some of the vegetables are consumed by the villagers and some are sold at market.
The AWCC is proud to have enabled a community to be a stakeholder in wildlife conservation.
When the borehole was turned on you can feel the excitement of the villagers
One of the villagers explaining what they had to do for water before the borehole
Nice photo montage from our friends at the Sidinda Conservancy