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Background

CAMPFIRE has a combined 2.4 million beneficiaries, made up of 200,000 households that actively participate in the program, and another 600,000 households that benefit indirectly from social services and infrastructure supported by CAMPFIRE income within districts. There are in excess of 120 elected and constituted Village and Ward CAMPFIRE Committees that operate through specific Traditional Leaders in their areas. ‘Communal' in the acronym CAMPFIRE, has since been changed to ‘Community' in order to focus on communities instead of the geographic spread of the programme.


Table 1: Scope of the CAMPFIRE Program

 

Land area under CAMPFIRE

50,000 km2 – 12% of Zimbabwe

No of CAMPFIRE Districts

58

No of wildlife districts

28 (15 active in hunting)

No of Safari Operators

33

No of Photographic safaris

10

No of leased Parks Safari Areas

4

 

 COMMUNITY BENEFITS

Variation of CAMPFIRE Districts

According to CAMPFIRE Revenue Sharing Guidelines, 55% of income is allocated to communities, 26% to the RDC to support costs attributable to CAMPFIRE activities, 15% for general RDC administration, and 4% as a levy to the Association. 55% of income to communities is the minimum limit, which has been exceeded to 60% in Tsholotsho, as an example.

It is important to note that a district or RDC may be part of CAMPFIRE, but this does not mean that every village/ward in that district will be directly engaged in CAMPFIRE activities. Equally, not all 60 RDCs in Zimbabwe are CAMPFIRE members. Others such as Nyanga have communities earning some income from non-wildlife activities such as community based tourism. The performance of CAMPFIRE across districts therefore varies, as benefits, especially from wildlife, are determined by the size of land that is free from human settlement for agriculture and livestock rearing, or other economic activities such gold panning and mining, that do not negatively impact on wildlife management, and on which CAMPFIRE related income generating activities such as safari hunting can be administered. The human population density in most districts today is more than 20 people per square kilometer, compared to 10 people per square kilometer when CAMPFIRE was started.

Wildlife management under CAMPFIRE is most successful in buffer areas between national parks and those areas in which people live and conduct their other livelihood activities. Buffer areas serve as communal wildlife dispersal areas which are not gazette at law, but are maintained at the pleasure of rural communities. CAMPFIRE has no history of resettling people in order to create space for wildlife management, unless such resettlements were voluntary, as in the case of Mahenye in Chipinge in the 1980s. There are very few examples of standalone community wildlife ventures in the country that exist in districts away from national parks, for example Sidinda ward in Hwange.

Illegal killing of elephant in typical CAMPFIRE areas is relatively low and averages only 25% of annual national statistics. In some CAMPFIRE areas, safari operators have developed partnerships for anti-poaching and problem animal control, e.g. Mbire district, with great success. As shown in Table 2, up to 40 elephants were poached in 2010, but the number has declined every year after to around 5, as a result of improved law enforcement at local level.

Table 2: Results of the Dande Anti-Poaching Effort

 

Year

Number of Elephant

2010

40

2011

36

2012

16

2013

4

2014

9

2015

5

2016

7

2017Sept

5

 

 In other cases (Table 3), districts relying on CAMPFIRE hunting income alone are unable to manage problem animals and control poaching, e.g. Hwange, where communities do not have a buffer area from which to effectively benefit. Wildlife species migrate from the Hwange National Park throughout most of the 18 wards of the communal area, causing serious conflict with people in the form of crop damage, livestock losses, damage to infrastructure, injuries to people, and even loss of human lives. The majority of the wards receive very little benefits from wildlife, as there is not enough wildland within the communal area to allow for wildlife management by the communities. Elephants, usually of poor trophy quality, are therefore hunted only as problem animals after crossing the main road northwards to raid crops in the night. Most of the income generated through safari hunting in the district comes from Sidinda ward, which has significant wild land. Consequently, benefits from this ward are diluted when shared by another 17 wards of the district that also suffer from problem animals, and this leaves very little income for wildlife management. This has created negative perceptions of CAMPFIRE in the district, as people currently suffer more than they benefit from wildlife.

Table 3: Income generation: Hwange District

YEAR

GROSS INCOME

COMMUNITY 55%

CAMPFIRE MGT 26%

COUNCIL LEVY 15%

CAMPFIRE ASS 4%

2009

32,500

17,874

8,450

4,875

1,300

2010

41,725

22,948

10,848

6,258

1,669

2011

63,070

34,648

16,398

9,460

2,522

2012

74,408

40,924

19,346

11,161

2,976

2013

65,300

35,915

16,978

9,795

2,612

2014

85,777

47,177

22,302

12,866

3,431

2015

49,350

27,142

12,831

7,402

1,974

2016

31,450

12,978

7,293

10,057

1,122

 

CAMPFIRE Income

As indicated in the preceding section, only 15 districts involved in CAMPFIRE have sufficient wildlife resources to generate some financial benefit to communities. In such cases, the consumptive use of wildlife resources has provided a supplementary form of income to subsistence farming for communities, and this has proved sustainable. These benefits are associated with communities in the wards shown in Table 4, and are not district wide.

Table 4: Example of District wards and CAMPFIRE Wards 

 

DISTRICT

DISTRICT WARDS

CAMPFIRE WARDS

BEITBRIDGE

15

7

BUBI

23

2

BINGA

25

14

BULILIMA

22

13

HURUNGWE

26

7

HWANGE

20

18

CHIPINGE

30

2

CHIREDZI

32

9

GOKWE NORTH

36

10

MATOBO

24

6

MBIRE

17

8

NYAMINYAMI

12

6

TSHOLOTSHO

22

11

UMGUZA

19

19

 

On average CAMPFIRE generates nearly US$2million per year. This means that communities in major CAMPFIRE areas receive about US$1million every year in total. Since 2007, these communities have been opening their own bank accounts to receive cash from safari operators under a Direct Payment System. This system eliminates previous delays in money reaching the communities and ensures that communities see the value of wildlife.

As shown in Table 5, CAMPFIRE income is often understated as it is largely recorded based on income receipts from safari hunting only. Economic multipliers like taxidermy, travel, extended tourism activities, food and others, are not captured as part of CAMPFIRE income. The proportion of safari operating expenses paid locally in the form of wages and salaries, and purchase of materials is also not recorded. Income from tourism ventures under CAMPFIRE is also mostly unrecorded, as a result of low investment and returns due to the current downturn in tourism receipts for the country.

Table 5: CAMPFIRE Income: 1989-2016 (Note: Compiled by CAMPFIRE Association, based on WWF SARPO Reports up to 2006. 2009-2016 data is based on CAMPFIRE District Annual Reports. Data for the period 2007-8 is not available due hyper-inflation. Data for 2002-6 is distorted by exchange rate fluctuations at the time)

The gross amount disbursed to communities as dividends from 1989 to 2006 was US$20,8 million, representing 52% of the total income earned. Total income generated between 2009 and 2016 was US$11,9 million. The amount disbursed to communities was US$6,4 million, representing about 54% of total income earned.

Since 2013, CAMPFIRE income has declined from the peak of over US$2 million in 1999, from which communities received approximately US$1 million per year. In 2014, the income dropped sharply to $1,837,230, compared to $2,311,560 in 2013. This is mainly as a result of the ban on elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe into the United States of America, whose full effect has now been felt, with income leveling off in 2015, and 2016 at around $1,7 million respectively. American clients generally constitute 76% of hunters in CAMPFIRE areas for all animals hunted each year.


Table 6: 2014 Income Dis-aggregated by District

 

 

 

Table 7: 2015 Income Dis-aggregated by District

 

As shown in Table 6 and 7, most of the income is generated from elephant, based on varying densities of the species across districts. This is the major hunted species, which contributes up to 70% of the total income on average. Matobo district did not generate any income from elephant hunting, while Hwange district got 100% of its income from elephant during the period. Gokwe North and Binga used to be major wildlife districts, but hunting has gone down due mostly to uncontrolled human settlement and consequently a decline in animal populations. Nyaminyami has begun to reverse to loss of wildlife and CAMPFIRE income from poaching by establishing a game conservancy through a partnership between the RDC, communities, and the Safari Operator.

Percentage Allocation

Data for 2015 from 13 RDCs (Table 8 and 9), shows that on average, 52% (instead of the prescribed 55%) of income went to communities. Councils generated a significant percent of 44% (more than the prescribed 41%). CAMPFIRE Guidelines provide a good income sharing framework, but the guidelines cannot be uniformly applied in every district. Income distribution proportions to communities therefore vary from district to district, for several reasons. Currently communities get the highest allocation of trophy fees in Tsholotsho district, i.e. 60%, with the Council retaining 36%. Significant income for rural development in districts like Tsholotsho and Mbire that have a limited financial base, is generated through the optional payment of a percentage of daily rates to some RDCs by Safari Operators, in addition to the mandatory trophy fees which are shared with communities. Hurungwe district has not been generating CAMPFIRE income consistently since 2009 due to unresolved issues regarding the leasing of two state Safari Areas.

Table 8: Income Allocation in 2014

 

 

Table 9: Income Allocation in 2015

 

There are also districts where quota utilization has gone down as numbers of key species has declined over time due to factors, and also the ban on ivory imports into America. In such cases, benefits to communities have been reduced as shown in Table 10.

Table 10: Distribution of hunting income for 2015: Nyaminyami

 

 

COMMUNITIES

 

 

51%

4%

 

45%

 

 

 

 

AREA

TOTAL INCOME

COUNCIL

CA

GACHE GACHE 2

MOLA 3

MOLA 4

NEBIRI 7

KASVISVA 8

MSAMPA

KARUMA 9

GACHE GACHE

46,452

23,690

1,858

20,903

 

 

 

 

 

OMAY 1

110,510

56,360

4,420

 

37,025

5,499

4,892

2,312

 

OMAY 2

92,860

47,358

3,714

 

17,253

4,005

7,224

7,434

5,870.05

TOTAL

249,822

127,409

9,992

20,903

54,278

9,504

12,117

9,746

5,870.05

 

In 2015 quota allocation and utilization for key species was as follows: Omay Area 1: Buffalo – 28/10, Elephant – 5/1; Omay Area 2: Buffalo – 30/10, Elephant – 4/2. Anticipated income in 2015 from Omay 1 was $252,430, but only $ 110,510 was realized. In Omay 2, only $ 92,860 was generated, against a target of $213,420. In Gache Gache $46,452 was generated, instead of the expected $82,226.

Data for 2016 from 11 RDCs (Table 11 and 12) shows that on average, 48,7% (instead of the prescribed 55%) of income went to communities. Councils generated a significant percent of 47,7% (higher than the prescribed 41%), for administration, field patrols, monitoring of hunts, problem animal control, water, and fire management. The variation of overall percentages of shared income from the CAMPFIRE guidelines, is based on the explanation given earlier. Hurungwe and Umguza districts did not generate any income in 2016 due to non renewal of leases, and poor trophy quality respectively, and therefore are not included. 


Table 11:     Income Allocation in 2016

As shown in Table 12, although the 55% share of income for communities is generally inconsistent for reasons explained above, most of the RDCs still ensured that communities received a significant share of the income in 2016.


Table 12:     Income Allocation by District 2016


Use of Income

Revenue received by communities (about USD1 million annually) helps directly offset the costs of living with wildlife.  Most communities have voluntarily invested in infrastructure which has long term benefits such as clinics, schools, and grinding mills. However, in some areas, the projects are spread too thinly to meet the needs of a growing number of people. Other communities have drilled boreholes, constructed seasonal roads, erecting of fencing to keep out wildlife, purchase of tractors, and direct purchase of drought relief food. Children benefit from reduced walking distances through the construction of schools, procurement of learning materials, and payment of school fees from CAMPFIRE proceeds. Communities also benefit from meat in excess of the requirements of safari hunting operations, and from problem animal control.

Table 13: Examples of existing Community Projects funded from CAMPFIRE Revenue

 

District Projects
   
Beitbridge

Rehabilitation of schools, clinics and protection of irrigation schemes. Langeni Primary School Builders Fees, Makakavhule Clinic Staff House Rehabilitation (2), Makombe Clinic, Malibeng P S Laptop  Printer, Chikwalakwala block repair after thundestorms in 2010, Chikwalakwala classroom repair, Chikwalakwala clinic fence, Chikwalakwala Irrigation piping, Chipise  Pry School block, Bricks for Chipise Clinic, Chabili Clinic construction, Chabili Clinic Staff house, Painting of Dite Clinic, Makakavhukle Clinic fence, Submersible pump at Makakavhule Clinic, Waiting Mothers’ Shelter-Builders Fees, Mapani Pry School Block, Mapani Pry School Staff House, Mapani Pry School Toilets, Masera Sec Block, Masera Sec Staff House - Bags of Cement, Motor Vehicle for Projects.

   
Bililima Rehabilitation of 3 clinics and 3 primary schools, hall, fencing of fields and rehabilitation of lodge, community truck, tractor, dam repair machinery.
   
Chipinge 3 grinding mills, lorry, teachers houses, community office, shop
   
Chiredzi Clinic, teachers’ houses, primary school, community-grinding mill, Police sub-office, piped water and electrification of clinic. 
   
Hurungwe Nyamakate Secondary block, Maintanance of Nyamakate bridge. Purchase of tractor tube, Payment of carpenters, Roofing Chipfuko  Primary School and Huyo Secondary School, CAMPFIRE Ward tractor major service, Purchase of Treasurers bicycle, Payment of Nyamakate Clinic guard, 7 resource monitors allowances, 26 bag cement Chitindiva, Kabidza , Manyenyedzi and Mawau cchools  for toilets construction, Renovation Karuru School (5 bags cement), and toilet construction, Chitindiva Clinic toilet construction, Roofing Chikova Secondary School, Purchase of buiding materials Chikova Secondary Block, Painting Dete Primary School, Building toilets Makwiye school, Building shed Mupuse school, Roofing Bhashungwe primary school, Sanyati Bridge camp renovation, Purchase of Cement Tashinga Primary School, 6 pairs uniform for resource monitors, Purchase of 20 bags cement Chisipite Primary School, Purchase of tyres for ward tractor, Bridge maintenance    
   
Mbire Clinic, nurses houses, office, storerooms, 14 classrooms, 7 teachers houses, grinding mill, school office, wildlife administration offices, 2 hand pump boreholes, water piping, toilet, water storage tanks, 2 tractors, a basic tourist camp with 4 chalets;
   
Nyaminyami Tillage tractors, renovation of dispensary at clinic, nurse’s house. Construction of Mayovhe classroom block, 3 grinding mills, Teacher’s house, Jongola school. School bursaries x 3 students at Seke Teacher’s College. Renovation of pre-schools x 2. Negande:  Rehabilitation of water pipeline, grinding mill. Nebiri: Chikuro primary block, rehabilitation of Harudziva water pipeline. Kasvisva: Rehabilitation of water pipeline to supply water to Kasvisva clinic, Kasvisva Secondary school block. Msampa: Teacher’s house, Majazu primary, renovation of ward warehouse; Kanyati: Cement for teacher’s house renovation.
   
Tsholotsho Classroom blocks and furniture (Sihazela, Mlevu, Mtshwayeli, Ntulula, Dibutibu, Gwaai, Nkwizhi, Zibalongwe, Malindi, Mgodimasili, Phelela, Mpilo, Jimila, and Kapane Primary schools), 2 F14 cottages, 10 sewing machines (Dibutibu Secondary school), 7km piped water system for Thembile primary school, Sikente Clinic, Tshitatshawa and Jowa clinics construction, fencing of Madlangombe clinic, 10 water engines, borehole drilling and repairs and repair kits, Lister diesel engines for 6 villages in ward 21 and at Sihazela Line in ward 1, grinding mills, solar water pumping in wards 1, 2 and 4. 2 pickup trucks for wildlife monitoring purchased in 2015.