Since March 2020, it has become increasingly clear that the impact of COVID19 in Sub-Saharan Africa is going to be enormous.
According to an estimate by SafariBookings, the safari industry usually generates some $12.4 billion in annual revenues for Sub-Saharan countries. This, combined with the partial lock-downs in Malawi and Zambia, has already had an immense detrimental effect on African employment, food safety, education, and healthcare. Hundreds of thousands of people rely on the tourism industry to support themselves and their families.
In the absence of guests in the game parks, the risk of uncontrolled poaching is also increasing by the day.
From the very first day of building Ila Safari Lodge, Green Safaris’ mission has been to conserve wildlife and empower communities in remote and pristine locations around Sub-Saharan Africa.
As of February 2020, our properties create employment, provide education, support healthcare, and invest in conservation, reforestation, and sustainability initiatives in four completely separate locations in Zambia and one in Malawi.
However, most of our lodges have been closed since April and are likely to stay closed indefinitely. The Green Safaris Conservation Foundation is doing everything that we can to keep our objectives intact, and to continue supporting our wildlife and communities.
But we need your help.
Our plan for 2020 is to commit a large number of our lodge employees to a wide variety of projects in the local communities. The main goal is to prevent unemployment, so that as many people as possible can support their families. This is vital in order to prevent a humanitarian crisis.
These projects are also designed to address some of the biggest challenges that our communities face: health and safety, food security, education, deforestation, and conservation.
Some of the projects that we have already implemented include: providing information – in local languages – to as many surrounding villages as possible about vital health and safety measures in a time of coronavirus.
We have also built sanitation systems, created and shared the ‘Tippy Tap’ design which enables people to make their own handwashing stations out of only a plastic water bottle and some string, and distributed large amounts of disinfectant soap.
We have targeted the elderly in our communities, providing food and sanitation supplies to the most vulnerable or those with no other support systems. We also initiated a Food Support Programme for the Tongabezi Trust School students when the school was forced to close for a while and they could no longer receive their vital nutrients on a daily basis.
On Likoma Island. we have committed to an immense reforestation project, and at Ila Safari lodge we have expanded our Community Farm so that the community has access to fresh food and also sustainable farming training.
In the National Parks, our rangers now take regular ‘game drives’ despite having no guests. Our presence in the parks is a crucial way to prevent poachers from poaching undisturbed. When possible, we also invite local children to visit the parks with our guides so that they can learn about wildlife and conservation. Our team are also providing extra lessons in various local schools about sustainable farming, in the hope that more families will be able to grow their own food during this difficult time.
We call these our COVID Kindness Projects… with which we try to “reverse” some of the enormous consequences of the virus.
Our aim is to keep up employment for as long as possible, whilst utilising our wonderful team members to create positive change in their communities in the absence of tourists.
We can keep this up for a while, but no one knows how long it will take before travel opens up again, and after that how long it will be before tourism is anywhere near where it was before.
That is why your help is very welcome.
Would you like to contribute to these projects? Please make a donation via PayPal, Credit Card or contribute directly via this link: