Water flow lessens animal-human conflict in Liwonde National Park, Malawi
We all need water, humans and animals.
So what happens when there is competition between humans and animals for water?
Liwonde National Park in Malawi is home to over 10,000 different species. Black rhinos, elephants, zebras and baboons are among them – the place is a biodiversity hotspot.
The Shire River passes through the area, and is a vital life source for all the animals there.
Years of poaching, illegal fishing and snaring have devastated the park’s ecosystem. Competition for resources has rocketed; as well as the animals, people need water to survive.
The people of Chikolongo had to go miles to retrieve water from the Shire River – it was the only major source of water available. In their trek, the journey often led to death for people and animals – especially as a result of human encounters with crocodiles, elephants and hippos.
So in 2013, they created the Chikolongo Livelihood Project – designed to build sustainable solutions to reduce the conflict between villages and wildlife.
They completed a water pump and pipeline to bring easily accessible and clean water directly into the heart of the Chikolongo community.
Since that pipeline was created, there have been no incidents of human-wildlife conflict. The villages have what they need to co-exist amongst the animals they had thought were dangerous. They are happier.
Plus, IFAW established a community fish farm and developed an incentive system to encourage the growth of commercial crops which was designed to help reduce poaching.
And the animals of Liwonde National Park are successfully recovering.
Actions for Animals
Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.
Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa