Exploration of human–wildlife conflicts in lower Zambezi: peasant farmers’ perspective.
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This study was an exploration of Human-Wildlife Conflict in the Lower Zambezi. The purpose of the research sought to explore the lived experiences of peasant farmers on human-wildlife conflicts in areas surrounding the Lower Zambezi Game Management Area. The study was guided by the following research objectives: Exploration of precipitating factors of human encroachment to wildlife corridors and protected areas, Describing the manifestation of human-wildlife conflict in the Lower Zambezi and exploring the effects of human-wildlife conflicts on peasant farmers in the Lower Zambezi area as well as exploring peasant farmers’ responses to human-wildlife conflicts in the Lower Zambezi and Suggesting strategies to mitigate the human-wildlife conflict. Imperatively, the study adopted Social Conflict Theory and Stakeholders Theory. The study embraced Hermeneutics Phenomenology research design due to its usefulness in generating information from participants and clearly interpret such information without compromising their privacy. Interview guides and focused group discussion were used in data collection to ensure efficiency and accuracy in data collection. The findings of the study revealed that there is scramble for natural resources such as land for cultivation, water for drinking and irrigating the gardens as well as other house hold use. The findings also revealed that water harbored fish and, fishing was their (peasant farmers) major economic activity. The findings also revealed that the wildlife corridors had good vegetation which was good for charcoal burning and firewood, it further revealed that common forms of human-wildlife conflicts involved damaging of crops; attacking and killing people. Wild animals such as hippos, elephants, baboons and monkeys usually grazed on crops and attacked humans in the villages. Wild animals such as Leopards, wolves and foxes preyed on domestic animals such as goats, cattle, dogs and chickens. Considering the findings of this study, the researcher advanced the following recommendations among others: i. The Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, should pursue coherent policies that would not only benefit the wildlife but also the people living in villages around the Lower Zambezi Game Management Area; ii. The Ministry Lands and Natural Resources, should consider allocating alternative land to people of Kavalamanja and Mugurameno Villages away from the Game Management Area; iii. The Government through the Ministry of Tourism and Arts should establish a comprehensive compensation policy to mitigate human wildlife conflicts’ induced loses; iv. The Ministry of Arts and Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy should provide affordable solar fences to affected local people.
SponsorshipThe University of Zambia
The University of Zambia