13 August 2007
Describing the area as poor with no hope of upliftment, except through conservation, Sithole said the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism had ploughed about R8 million into poverty alleviation in the area.
"About 120 people were employed," said Sithole.
"Close to 400 people gained work as labourers and rotated. About 70 people were employed for a period, then 70 others."
One of their tasks was to erect 40km of fencing.
On the question of water, Sithole said two windmills had already been erected and he was shortly adding a third because they had proved to be so successful.
"People are extremely happy because this has solved their water problems. They use it for drinking, washing and for their cattle."
Previously, animals had to travel long distances for water, and water from the Shemula water scheme often proved to be unpalatable. Water from the boreholes was very clean and fit for human consumption, even if a bit salty.
Explaining how he became involved at Usuthu Gorge, Sithole said he had worked for the Wildlands Conservation Trust since 1996 on other projects, but had been called in to resolve conflict over boundaries with Ndumo Reserve.
There was also dissent over boundaries between the lands of the various tribal chiefs. Sithole managed to bridge the differences by showing the community the benefits they stood to reap.
"They have now worked close to 27 000 days," he said. "When I go to bed at night I feel honoured that I am involved in this project. To see people supporting this initiative is a real success in terms of people and parks," said Sithole proudly.
A member of the community, Khetiwe Mathenjwa of eKhuleni, said she had worked on contract at Ndumo Game Reserve. She now has a job as an administration clerk at Usuthu.
The Peace Parks Foundation has made bursaries available to three women to study tourism and the hospitality industry. Another member of the community recently received a bursary to the Southern African Wildlife College.
Sunday Tribune - 12 August 2007Myrtle Ryan
17 August 2017Rewilding Mozambique's Elephant Coast
As part of ongoing efforts to develop the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area, a further 2 300 animals are being translocated to Maputo Special Reserve in Mozambique during 2017. As oread more
9 January 2017 Conscious Conservation
Without fanfare, a conservation success story is unfolding just over the border in southern Mozambique. If you are a lover of wild places, this may just be the best kept secret in southern Africa.read more
2 January 2017Where Wildness Lives
Imagine one hundred kilometres of deserted beach, seeing both elephants and whales in a single glance, and spotting endangered leatherback and loggerhead turtles silently nesting under cover of night.read more
28 November 2016Further training to protect turtles
From 25-26 November, Centro Terra Viva presented a refresher training course for the 46 turtle monitors who cover the area from Ponta do Ouro to Ponta Mucombo in Mozambique. The training comprised botread more
15 November 2016Restocking national parks as part of transfrontier conservation development
A further 573 animals have been translocated to Maputo Special Reserve and 310 to Zinave National Park.read more
8 November 2016Wildlife thriving in Maputo Special Reserve, Mozambique
At the end of September, the Maputo Special Reserve/Tembe Elephant Park management committee conducted an aerial census to determine the status of the large herbivore species in Maputo Special Reserveread more
17 August 2016Protecting turtles in Africa's marine TFCA
Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve had another successful turtle monitoring season this year. The reserve comprises the Mozambican component of the Ponta do Ouro-Kosi Bay TFCA, Africa's first cross-read more
21 March 2016Cross-border cooperation saves marine life
Thanks to the excellent cross-border cooperation between the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve in Mozambique and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa, a gill net measuring 20 x 3 metres waread more
16 February 2016Protecting turtles and marine life
The turtle monitoring season is in full swing in the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve, the Mozambican component of the Ponta do Ouro-Kosi Bay TFCA, Africa's first cross-border marine reserve, in tread more
13 May 2015A transfrontier conservation success story: first phase of wildlife translocations concluded
This month will see the conclusion of the first phase of wildlife translocations to Mozambique’s Maputo Special Reserve with the introduction of 98 zebra and 117 blue wildebeest.read more