Mutinondo Meander I Newsletter 2003 I Newsletter 2004 I Newsletter 2005 I Newsletter 2006 I Newsletter 2007 I Newsletter 2008 I Newsletter 2010 I Newsletter 2011 I Newsletter 2012 I Alternative Energy I Gemstones & Jewelry
CHINTU MUKULU is a community natural resources reserve and related industries for Chief Mpumba's people in the Northern Province of Zambia.
3. THE COMMUNITY CONSERVATION
Many government and NGO projects have been set up in Mpika District in an effort to bring development to the area. There are some successful examples (North Luangwa Conservation Project) but generally the benefits to the area last until the projects and NGO's come to an end or run out of funds. Formal employment opportunities in Chief Mpumba's area are very limited and confined to Tazara's Mununga Quarry and Railway stations and Mutinondo Wilderness Limited (MWL). Consequently it is very important for the community in this area to see how they can help themselves to deal with their ever decreasing standard of living.
a. THE IDEA
The example of a private conservation area and reserve within the Mpumba Chiefdom from MWL's investment and the threat of losing much of the virgin Miombo woodland, an important source of food and building materials for the community, to intensive tobacco and coffee farmers made the Mpumba people decide to develop a community conservation area and related tourist industries.
b. THE PEOPLE
Most of the people in the Mpumba area are from the Bisa tribe. The Bisa have a rich and interesting history steeped in a culture of hunting and trading. They originally migrated from south central Congo and split from their sister tribe the Bemba to become the Bena N'gona (mushroom clan). Some Bisa settled around the Mayense Hill between the Mupamadzi and Mutinondo river basins. Proximity to the Luangwa Valley made it their hunting territory. Eventually some of the villagers settled in the valley to become the Valley Bisa and others ended up East of the Valley. The Bisa also settled to the north and west (east of Bangweulu where their Paramount Chief Kopa resides). They dominated long distance trade with the Portuguese and King Kazembe trading ivory for cloth and copper. The British South Africa Company encouraged the plateau Bisa to move west and work on the track which was being cleared, this continued to become "The Great North Road". The villagers remained along the road and the area east of the road only has Mutinondo Wilderness (the private conservation area and tourist lodge), some villagers' farms and an encroachment of Chitimene- a slash and burn agriculture.
c. THE AREA
The area identified for the community conservation area lies between the settled area along the road on the west and stretches east across the plateau to the top of the escarpment in the Luangwa Valley. The northern boundary will share the Mpumba Chiefdom border incorporating the Mutinondo River basin in the north, stretching south to the tributaries of the Mupamadzi River. The rivers start east of the road and run eastwards through miombo woodland until they reach the escarpment. The Mutinondo Waterfalls are spectacular, not to mention the numerous other very special spots and views, many of which still need investigating. The southern part of the area is undulating with crystal streams running down deep well forested ravines. The central area is dominated by granite inselbergs (and Mutinondo Wilderness) and long dambos (wetlands) spreading amidst the miombo to the west. Remnant groups of antelope are seen occasionally in the dambos during the dry season and they seem to vanish into the miombo for the rest of the year. Roan, sable, reedbuck, hartebeest and a few eland have managed to survive the poaching but twenty years ago the area was said to be full of game, especially eland and impala. Elephant and buffalo used to frequent the escarpment to eat the fruit in the dry season. The contrast between the plateau and valley is an attraction in itself, the hot, harsh, hazy valley compared to the moist, misty, tsetse free 'highlands'. The crocodile and hippo free rivers on the plateau are cool and clear with granite and waterlily lined pools and waterfalls making perfect grounds for swimming, tubing and canoeing.
d. THE ECONOMY
Zambia is so rich yet so poor. The Bisa are traditional hunters and their annual required income per family is estimated at K2,500,000 (US$650), but the average income from the better, more serious farmers' production is only about K800,000 p.a. Half the children in the area don't attend school because their parents can't afford to buy the uniforms and pay for books etc. The youngsters have no other skills but poaching, especially those who did not go to school. The distance from the market makes inputs and a market for agricultural products difficult yet there is a well established market for "bush-meat". Businessmen and women travel by train to the area to buy meat and supply the hunters with the 'inputs', batteries, bullets, gun powder etc. The estimated annual income for "bush-meat" in the area is K20m. Meat is sold in dried peices, a duiker is sold in quarters for between K5,000 and K15,000 per piece (truck drivers pay about twice the price compared to traders from town). It is estimated that there are poachers in every second family in the villages and most families eat game meat at least once every ten meals. About a quarter of the meat hunted is eaten in the area, the rest is sold to buy soap, pay for school fees and the youngsters spend much of their earnings on local brew. Many woman rely on brewing for an income and the youngsters are very good customers ending up with 'no power' to farm. The serious farmers endure continual thefts of their crops, often the poachers raid farms for supplies to take hunting. The main road through this area is renowned for "bush-meat" sellers and very few other products are advertised for sale along the road. Poaching is the main economy of this poor area and it is making the area poorer and poorer.
a. MPIKA DISTRICT
The Zambian Government and the British Overseas Development Administration employed the ULG Consultants Limited, Harare Office in 1995 to compile "A STRATEGY FOR WILDLIFE AND TOURISM IN THE MPIKA DISTRICT, ZAMBIA'. This is a 400 page document on this subject, Chief Mpumba has a copy of this and the publication will prove to be an excellent document to work with. "The Mpika District in the north of Zambia extends from the Luangwa valley in the east to the Bangweulu swamps in the west. It includes the North and South Luangwa National Park, at low altitude which contrasts with Lavushi Manda National Park on the high Zambian plateau. These combine with the Bangweulu swamps, the Muchinga Escarpment and other attractions inside or outside the district, such as Lake Tanganyika to the north and the Kasanka National Park to the south, to offer what is probably the finest tourist complex in a country that is especially well endowed with natural tourist destinations."
b. MPIKA DISTRICT & AGRICULTURE
This was a very productive area when fertilizer and maize was subsidized. The liberalised economy makes the market too far away to be competitive for a maize crop in most years of good production. The area is so stuck to a maize and fertilizer mentality that the various schemes trying to encourage production of more valuable crops tend to be ineffectual. There are some areas which have proved otherwise where soyabean production has increased ten fold in the past five years. (Unfortunately the Mpumba area has proved very disappointing in loan repayment, crop diversification and production in general.)
c. MPIKA DISTRICT & MINING
It is becoming apparent that the Mpika District is a reflection of the geology across the valley and an extension of the formations found near Mkushi and Serenje. The samples seen in the area are promising, including amethyst, abundant quartz crystals, garnet and an assortment of descriptions which have not yet been confirmed. The Ministry of Mine's incentives for small scale mining and easy legislation makes this another potential industry for the Mpika District. Value added processing and a direct market from the visiting tourists would ensure a high return for the production, local skills and employment which would in turn ensure that the breakneck, cowboy, low cost high output production will be avoided. Good guidance from the Ministry of Mines will encourage safe and environmental friendly mining and mines which tourists could visit.
3. THE COMMUNITY CONSERVATION AREA
a) OTHER COMMUNTIY RESERVES AND TOURISM
Chief Mpumba has another book which is also an excellent source to work from: WHOSE EDEN? An Overview of Community Approaches to Wildlife Management by International Institute for Environment and Development (ISBN 0905347749). "There is almost no published evidence of wildlife management initiatives which have involved 'community-led approaches', particularly in the sense of communities' taking the initiatives themselves, without external assistance, to plan and execute wildlife management (self- mobilised). In the literature reviewed, 'wildlife management' and 'participation' seem to be conceived almost wholly in the context of donor-funded projects. The debate on 'participation' often refers more to participation in project management, and calls for immediate action and results rather than active participation and control of the management of resources themselves."
The BBC radio service has been covering the subject of community involvement in tourism in: Adventures in the tourist trade; "Everyone agrees that such a huge and potentially damaging industry needs management, and that profits of tourism ought to be enjoyed by local people. But there are different theories about how this ought to happen. Some think the answer is in thinking 'big' and bringing in international companies who can market destinations and create large numbers of jobs. Others take the view that tourism works best on a small scale and with direct community development."
- Increase in employment opportunities
- Sustainable income
- Independent approach to secure the economic future of the area instead of reverting back to a servant and master mode as would happen if the area was given to White Zimbabwean farmers
- Access to transport and communication
- Improvement in living conditions
- Wildlife to show their grandchildren
- Appreciation of the value of wildlife by local people
- Eliminating or drastically reducing poaching
- Supporting the emergence of local environmental structures
- Improving environmental conservation practices - reduce the late annual burning of the Miombo and dambos xi. Using wildlife revenues for food security and a revolving fertilizer loan system
- Opportunity to sell locally grown farm produce, processed foodstuffs, recycled items and arts and crafts to the the lodges and tourists
- Skills development to supply the above
- An opportunity to preserve and promote the Bisa culture and traditions
- Sharing of skills and knowledge with outsiders
- Possible collaboration with foreign investors
- Initiating local land-use planning
- Funding schools and clinics
- Providing grinding mills and other community infrastructure
- The priorities of the local and donor authorities not matching or recognising the needs of the community
- The initial purpose of the project being hi-jacked by bureaucracy becoming a maze of regulations and committees
- Political interference
- Availability of funds often attracts the wrong types of people who make the wrong decisions for the wrong reasons
- The majority of the funds are soaked up by big salaries and motor vehicles in the cities and very little benefit seen at the grass-roots level
- Free local information is overlooked and foreign expertise without allegiance or responsibility for the area or project is consulted at vast cost to the community and project
- Tourism has been well studied and the potential and strategies documented in several forms by various well meaning donors. These reports sit and gather dust until another report on the same subject is piled on top. More action and results at the grass-roots level are required to implement all the relevant work which has already been done so thoroughly.
Examples of problems:
"The ZWP (Zambian Wetlands Project) continues the approach of top-down development schemes which fail to address real community needs and existing resource management systems. Attempts have been made to include education and training components and to involve local communities in the development of land-use plans. It is questionable, however, whether these attempts address the communities' real needs or whether they have been tailored to promote the achievement of ZWP's objectives." (Whose Eden? page 85)
"People should participate on the basis of sound motivation and not on the basis of receiving large financial advantages which disappear as soon as the donor support is withdrawn.....The responsibility for the implementation of the conservation and development measures should, whenever possible, be devolved to the local people. The decentralisation of decision making and management responsibility increases their security in terms of rights and gains. In order for rights, benefits and responsibilities to be gained by local people, the administrative context of the project needs to be thoroughly analysed." (Whose Eden? page 87)
4. 'CHINTU MUKULU'
a. THE NAME
"Chintu literally means 'thing', Mukulu means 'the great'. Chintu the Great was of the bena N'gona Clan, the reigning Chief of the Bisa speaking peoples of Mpika, Chinsali and Chilubi main and island. In the 19th century Chintu lived on the top of a hill along the Chintumukulu stream, the Mukulu was added to his name when he defeated the slave traders who raided his village on the hill. Having defeated the Arabs he was called Chintu Mukulu. Chintu, from time immemorial was the name (household name) of the aforementioned clan. Even today we have Mwaba Chintu from the same clan.We chose it because of its relationship with todays Chiefdom and that in the past, usually floods of animals were found there." (the Village Committee Secretary)
INITIATIVES TAKEN BY THE COMMUNITY
- A committee was formed to talk the idea of the community conservation area into reality
- Mutinondo Wilderness Limited was approached to offer logistical support and to find a suitable organisation to assist with the development of Chintu Mukulu
- The Village Committee meet once a week, sometimes inviting Mutinondo Wilderness (MWL) to the meetings to discuss the progress of Chintu Mukulu and frequent letters 'cycle' between the two parties about 'Chintu Mukulu" and other business
- MWL has approached several organisations on behalf of the community and the enthusiasm for this project is considerable but nothing concrete has been established
- MWL (Mike and Linda Merrett) had a meeting with ZATAC reporting back to the community with a preliminary action plan and summary of the meeting:
(1) to get a legal agreement between Chief Mpumba and the community for the area to be used as a community conservation area
(2) to decide on the boundary for the area, using easily defined physical features
(3) the ideas and suggestions should be consolidated into a proposal and business plan
(4) join the Wildlife Producers Association
The following has been done:
- Chief Mpumba has agreed in writing on the condition that Tazara Corridor Service's plans to clear the same area for commercial farmers from Zimbabwe can be reversed. The Chief requires a map from Lusaka and Tazara Corridor's clearance to approve the demarcated area
- A map has been drawn, possibly more distinct physical features should be used so that the villagers all fully recognise the boundaries.
- The Chief and Village Committee asked if Mutinondo Wilderness could compile all the ideas, information and other relevant data into a document.
- The success of 'Chintu Mukulu' is in MWL's interest, this introductory proposal complements MWL's own plans and policies, conservation and community development, so they agreed to assist.
SUGGESTED OPERATIONS & ALTERNATIVE INCOME
- Lodges and camps to be built for safari companies and tourists to use
- Part of the land to be leased to safari companies "with big ideas"
- Farming to cater for lodges and camp requirements iv. Crafts and youth centre processing local produce and materials to sell to tourists and travellers along the road
OF THE COMMUNITY
- Tazara Corridor Services or TAZCORR will want to keep this land available for foreign investors and agriculture
- The Mpumba area does not have sufficient wildlife to immediately benefit from its Comminity conservation area, this has kept it from benefitting from the ADMADE project
- The Mpumba Community is so dependent on hunting, what will they live off if they are not allowed to hunt while the animals multiply?
- It has been recognised that there is a danger of excluding people in the area during the preliminary discussions. Efforts are being made to keep people other than the committee informed through meetings.
- How far will the benefits reach and how will it be decided which communities should be included in the project?
- Poaching is very ingrained in the villagers and it will be essential to sensitize the community at large on the need to preserve the wildlife
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS TO COMPLEMENT THE TOURIST INDUSTRY
- Salamo Carpentry and Tailoring Club
- Salamo Womens' Club
- 9 Chongololo and Conservation Clubs have been formed
- MWL have introduced some village industries and skills
(1) recycling paper, plastic bags and containers
(2) peanut butter making
(3) salted peanuts
(4) mfungo jelly
(5) a market for wooden walking stick, snakes, spoons etc
- If the market increased the production of these and other items could increase too
- Plans to build and run a community youth centre have been put on hold until materials can be supplied. The community is looking for an organisation to provide materials and they will make the bricks and supply all the labour. This building will facilitate:
(1) a roadside marketplace for produce
(2) facilities to process market farm produce
(3) facilities to make and market crafts and souvenirs
(4) facilities to hold meetings, educational and recreational functions
- Start and run fish farms to supply the community and lodges with fresh fish
- Restock the rivers on the plateau with fish as they have all been poisoned and there is nothing in the rivers ix. Promote and preserve Bisa culture by developing a cultural village outside the game reserve for visitors to stay and enjoy the local culture and traditions
OF THE MUTINONDO / MUPAMADZI PLATEAU AREA
- All the advantages listed in the tourism and Mpika District section
- Whist the animals multiply and stop being so shy, there is plenty to attract tourists who want to hike, camp, swim, canoe, bird watch and enjoy the beautiful scenery
- Tourists don't have to rely on four wheel drive transport, aircraft hire or vehicles at all, they can travel to Kalonje or Mununga by train with their bicycles and cycle or hire porters to the camps
- Close and easy access to and from the Great North Road
- An excellent road from Kapiri Mposhi
- Contrasting cool climate on the plateau compared to many of the other tourism centers in Zambia
- Miombo woodland with its unique flora and ecosystems see the Plant Talk article about this area!
- Remnant pockets of valuable species (roan, sable and eland)
- Very few tsetse fly
- Beautiful streams, pools, waterfalls without crocodile, so safe for swimming, tubing and canoeing
- Excellent hills and bush for walking and cycling
- The home of the Mushroom clan as well as the biggest mushroom in the world. Tourists can visit this area in the wet season to to experience all the wild mushrooms (and feast on many of them too).
- Mayense is on the migratory route for many birds with spectacular numbers of various eagles, kites and storks clouding the skies in October and March
- The potential of being a world example where a hunting orientated community has taken responsibility for its own resources and turned them and their livelihoods into a success story
OF THE VALLEY SECTION OF THE MUPAMADZI / MUTINONDO AREA
- Tourists have the opportunity to experience the contrasting wild rift valley by walking into it, possibly visiting the remote Mukulubwe village and be taken on a mock poaching trip
- The Mupamadzi gorge and other rivers in the valley are scenic sites and good fishing grounds
- Camps can be built in the valley for people to walk to and possibly they can then trek further to join safari companies operating in the National Park or be brought from there
h. ADVANTAGES OF
THE LUANGWA VALLEY
- A buffer zone to protect the Luangwa Valley
- This section of the escarpment is the main thoroughfare for the Mpumba people going into the valley to hunt, the patrolling here has been limited due the distance to the closest scout camp being too far north or south
- A locally imposed step towards discouraging the poachers from Chief Mpumba's area who are the main culprits caught in and around the Luangwa Valley
- The newly formed Zawa has recognised the poaching problems of this area and are concentrating on the villages and their bushmeat trade which will benefit the Luangwa Valley and "Chintu Mukulu"
- Protection of the fragile dambos and tributaries, these are main sources of the Luangwa River
- An opportunity to protect a large tract of land as an example of uninhabited and undeveloped Africa
- To convince TAZCORR that local, sustainable development is more suitable and important to this area than reverting back to a master and servant scenario by introducing white Zimbabwean farmers
- Physical features should be chosen as important points and corner posts to illustrate the boundaries for the game reserve
- A legally binding agreement to secure the land to be drawn up between the community and the Chief by a well informed adviser and lawyer to ensure that the agreement is very appropriate and thorough
- A Land Survey should be done to physically demarcate the area chosen for the Conservation area
- Lobby the Government (through the Wildlife Producers Associations) to change the wildlife ownership laws in Zambia
- Lobby the Government to review land laws to enable communities to own their land and the resources
- Suggestions from the community of the best way to discourage poaching in the area to ensure that their project succeeds
- Funding for:
(1) legal agreement
(2) land (cadastral) survey
(3) land rent
(4) business plan
(5) training and awareness of community to appreciate the importance and potential of this project and the necessity not to poach or burn the area
(6) an interim form of income as an alternative to poaching whilst the animals multiply and are attracted to the area
(7) purchase and capture of animals to restock the area
(8) set up and initial running costs to establish management and accounting procedures to ensure success
The development of this community conservation area is a worthwhile sustainable and progressive step of self determination for the Mpumba People. It could have a marked beneficial effect on raising the living standards of the residents of the area. In addition it would help to conserve the headwaters of important rivers feeding the Luangwa Valley. It will depend on sound execution by supporting parties and a major commitment from the community not to poach in this area and to all work together for the longterm benefit of the whole community.
Mutinondo Meander I Newsletter 2003 I Newsletter 2004 I Newsletter 2005 I Newsletter 2006 I Newsletter 2007 I Newsletter 2008 I Newsletter 2010 I Newsletter 2011 I Alternative Energy I Gemstones & Jewelry