By giving people the skills to grow their own food and create sustainable ways of making a living, the Living with Wildlife project is helping some of Uganda’s most vulnerable families to lift themselves out of poverty while also protecting endangered wildlife.
The money raised from the Living with Wildlife Appeal is enabling Ripple Effect (formerly Send a Cow) to train over 7,000 families living around Murchison Falls National Park to grow their own crops so that they can have nutritious food to eat, all year round. With their newly acquired farming skills, families will soon be growing surplus crops which they can sell, earning a vital income that they can spend on sending their children to school, medicines and healthcare, or repairing their houses.
Through Tusk’s partnership with the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF), families and young people in the area will also be supported to start their own small businesses and learn vocational skills, such as agroforestry and construction, to help them find sustainable ways of making a living that don’t endanger wildlife. This will enable people living around Murchison Falls to break the cycle of poverty permanently and will mean that they are no longer pressured to hunt within the National Park, helping to protect endangered wildlife such as the Rothschild’s giraffe. With fewer than 2,000 Rothschild Giraffes remaining in the wild, urgent action is needed now to protect future generations.
Alongside this, Tusk and UCF will also educate and engage local communities with conservation so that they can appreciate the value of wildlife and become guardians of the park. Schoolchildren will learn about environmental issues and solutions, creating young conservation champions who can discourage their families from poaching and who will themselves turn away from poaching when they grow up.
Some members of the community will also be trained to become conservation volunteers who will remain in the community in the long term, and encourage others in the com- munity to respect wildlife and to identify solutions to human-wildlife conflict.
With food to eat and sell and a reliable income through sustainable small businesses, families can create a better future for themselves and will no longer be pressured to hunt within the nearby National Park. This will enable the Murchison Falls region to become a place where wildlife and people can thrive side by side for generations to come.