It’s Monday 18th February 2013 and some conservation news.

This week, news from the valley as promised, but something slightly different! I thought that we would give you some interesting info about the work that we and some of the other tour operators in the Luangwa Valley are doing together. In fact it is all doing so well that more tour operators are joining, so hopefully the effects and results are going to continue to improve.

Life in the valley between the various tour operators is very friendly and we all work towards helping the local community as well as the conservation of our precious wildlife. This resulted in a combined decision in 2010 to set up what we call the LCCF: Luangwa Conservation Community Fund, a charity, which strives to ensure the sustainability and protection of the natural resources, which we rely so heavily on for our business. The fund is sustained by $10 from every booking that we receive going into the “kitty”. We share this between the SLCS (South Luangwa Conservation Society) and Project Luangwa.

SLCS works closely with ZAWA (Zambian Wildlife Authority) in law enforcement and the money donated through LCCF ensures that each year we are able to provide the scouts with new equipment such as GPS’s, binoculars, accommodation and transport to get them to and from the various patrols. During the course of the year there were 4,901 scout patrols in and around the National Park. These patrols maintain a presence and help to prevent, reduce poaching activity. Snares are retrieved and removed and are even turned into keyrings and jewelry which are then sold and the money ploughed back into the fund. There is now also aerial support for the scouts and this enables larger areas of the National Park to be surveyed as well as areas with limited access during the rainy season to also be monitored.

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Closer to home, SLCS are also working on educational programs for the local communities “living with wildlife”. It is key to also ensure that the local communities benefit from the wildlife and the tourism that it brings in to the area in order for such a project to be successful.

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As for Project Luangwa, the team works endlessly to maintain and improve the standards of education and classrooms something which is largely achieved with the donated funds from so many of you, so let me take this opportunity to thank you all for your contributions.

Project Luangwa started at around the same time as LCCF and has been able to continue mostly due to the support and funds provided as a result. One major rule that the project has in place is that none of the donated funds goes towards admin costs and everything is put into improvements of facilities and projects.

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So here goes with some really interesting and exciting figures for you to all mull over: Since 2010 the project has been able to provide 1033 text books, plant 69 trees, sink 1 borehole, build 16 classrooms, 2 dormitories, 1 toilet block and 1 science block, employ watchmen at the schools and employ 12 permanent teachers. Whilst these achievements are largely down to the donations given, if it weren’t for the funds produced by LCCF, there would be no way of running or managing the project and whilst there is still an awful lot which still needs to be done this is a fantastic start and can only go from strength to strength.

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In other news, David Rogers is back in the valley for another exciting photographic workshop! Keep up to date with how his trip is going by visiting our Facebook page which will be updated with regular reports from the workshop.

So that is it for this week I am afraid, but don’t you worry lots more stories to come especially as we have Nsefu and Luangwa River Camp open for our River Journeys.

Have a great week and have fun

Cheers

emily

 

 

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