In February, Kasanka community outreach manager James Mwanza traveled with 20 Kafinda GMA farmers to undergo a 5-day human elephant conflict mitigation training.
Held in Mpika, the workshop was a joined effort with Frankfurt Zoological Society where farmers learned different strategies for deterring elephants from cash crop fields, in particular learning how to utilize ‘chili guns’. The mixture of chili powder and oil scares off elephants due to it’s strong smell and allows farmers to protect their fields in a safe and responsible manner.
Participating farmers were selected from communities experiencing the highest levels of elephant conflict incidents as reported to KNP through the 3 community forest areas surrounding the park, namely Njelele, Mpelembe, and Reuben. As leaders in their communities, farmers who attended the workshop are now equipped with the knowledge and ability to share back in their respective communities.
Such trainings give us hope that communities and wildlife can grow and evolve side by side through increased knowledge and technical training.