Rhinos and elephants are not the only victims of poaching, as indeed there are communities which are involved in the poaching industry as a result of their disadvantaged positions. Young men are being shot and killed in national parks with their families also becoming victims. Poaching provides a relatively easy and lucrative solution to an otherwise poverty stricken situation. The average Mozambican family home on the outskirts of the Kruger National Park has limited or no access to water, electricity, education and/or skills development. These poaching groups and syndicates are taking advantage of these communities and their current situations for their own gain.
However, there are ways to combat this bloodshed and injustice. Communities need to have their standard of living improved through access to basic services, skills development and career opportunities through local investments. Additionally, a change of mindset needs to be made, the value of wildlife and the impact of poaching must form part of a holistic education programme aimed at changing the way communities see the environment and themselves. Any community development project needs to have continuity as there is no quick fix. Programmes such as home biltong making, harvesting thatching grass, leather tannery, mulberry trees, mushroom production and baling nutrigrass are good examples of community development that can enrich the lives of people for good.
We are a nonprofit and non-commercial organisation. We support the Chissano Wildlife Preservation Initiative in Mozambique.