Conditions are in place to ensure safe grazing and an end to attacks on livestock by wild animals within the Limpopo National Park (PNL), in Massingir district, in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza.
This is an initiative of the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) with the support of the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) and funded by the Prince Albert Foundation.
The new infrastructure, budgeted at around 11 million meticais (about 172,000 US dollars at the current exchange rate), will allow the watering of 18,000 head of cattle.
According to the head of the project implementation, Dércio Julião, the initiative aims to reduce the conflict between wildlife and the people living in or near the national park.
It is also the objective of the initiative to remove cattle from the interior of the PNL and avoid attacks by elephants against the residents and the destruction of their farms.
The multifunctional supply system, with the capacity to feed about 165,000 hectares of pasture, covers five villages, namely Mucatine, Kanhane, Mavodze, Machamba and Chimangue.
“We are already at a very advanced stage of listing some families who are interested in removing their cattle from inside the Park”, Julião said, adding that “in the near future we hope to remove all the cattle and put an end to the attacks by elephants and hyenas in the Elephant River reservoir, where the cattle used to go to drink water”.
The Massinga district administrator, Margarida Muthemba, speaking on Monday 6th feb at the inauguration of the infrastructures, said that they represent a major step towards reducing the long distances that cattle had to travel to reach the Elephants River, in search of a source of water.
The project has been implemented in coordination with Zimbabwe and Botswana, and the representative of the Botswana Ministry of Agriculture, Tshwaragano Kopano, expressed his satisfaction with a similar project in his country.
“I believe that we can learn [from Mozambique] by the way they are grouped and thus organize ourselves”, he said.
Massingir district has about 37,000 inhabitants, according to the 2017 census, and a cattle population estimated at more than 38,000 head.