Descriptions & Plan
Local tourism was not benefitting the community.
The banks of the Zambezi River are home to the Goba people who constitute the Chiawa Chiefdom, located in Zambia. The socio-economic status of the Chiawa community, like many rural areas in Zambia, is characterized by poverty—despite high levels of tourism in the area. Several private lodges and tourism campsites are located along the Lower Zambezi River in the eastern Chiawa area. The community has not been able to benefit directly from the tourism, however, except for nominal tourism levies and a handful of employment opportunities.
Likewise, food insecurity in the Chiawa area is made worse by crop damage caused by wildlife, which has led to growing human-wildlife conflict.
Ensuring locals receive the benefits of tourism.
African Wildlife Foundation established a long-term relationship with the Chiawa community. Together with partners, AWF facilitated the establishment of the cultural village, which began operations in 2008. This enterprise leverages the existing tourism in the area for the benefit of the local community and the conservation of the nearby Mugurameno Area.
During its first year, the enterprise made substantial progress. AWF is now engaging the private sector to build the business management and tourism marketing skills of the village’s employees to make the village a more economically viable enterprise. Not only will the continued support of Chiawa Cultural Village contribute to improved livelihoods, but it will also encourage the local communities to work for the conservation of local species, which is attracting the tourists in the first place.