“CAMPFIRE can help minimize human-wildlife conflicts in Buhera South”

Communities who are part of Community Peace Clubs (CPCs) established by people working with Heal Zimbabwe in Buhera South have noted that the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) program can help minimize human and wildlife conflicts if implemented in the district. This came out during a Conflict Analysis and Resilient Assessment meeting conducted in Buhera South between 24 and 25 April 2025.

Participants noted that human-wildlife conflicts along the Devuli ranch have intensified over time. In most cases, wild animals destroy crops and community members have been arrested by Devuli ranch officials for slaughtering animals that encroach into their fields.

“We have lost our crops to some wild animals. In some instances, community members have been arrested after killing some wild animals which would have encroached into their fields. We are not knowledgeable on how we should handle such conflicts. If we had a CAMPFIRE program in our area, it would help us better manage the situation.”, said one participant.

Participants also noted that besides Buhera Rural District Council having a CAMPFIRE status since it bordered Devure ranch, it remained none functional. Other surrounding districts namely Chiredzi, Chipinge, Zaka and Bikita had viable CAMPFIRE programmes from where communities have not only immensely benefitted but have also been educated on wildlife conservation. CAMPFIRE helps rural communities to manage their resources especially wildlife for their own local development. Its objective is to alleviate rural poverty by giving rural communities autonomy over resource management. As part of the resolutions, participants unanimously agreed to engage the RDC on the issue of CAMPFIRE and also convene dialogues to address issues raised where community leaders will be invited.

The meetings by Heal Zimbabwe are part of efforts to empower local communities to help safeguard against human rights abuse and also help build peaceful communities. Heal Zimbabwe utilizes various strategies to address conflicts in local communities. One of these ways is the use of community dialogues, an initiative for communities to discuss and collectively identify ways through which they can proffer solutions to problems in their communities. The platforms also equip communities with relevant information on Covid 19, Gender Based Violence (GBV) and human rights. Such platforms also facilitate local level conversations on pertinent issues affecting communities as well as create socially cohesive communities.

Source: Heal Zimbabwe

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