The Mfuwe Intervention, Setting the Stage for Change
Mfuwe, located in Eastern Zambia, is a rural area where agriculture and tourism are the main economic drivers. The area has, due to the suitable habitat, a large number of dangerous snake species. Human-snake conflicts are high and this leads to many snakebite incidences and casualties.
HHiSS wants, in cooperation with other stakeholders and the chiefs in the area, to set up and implement a project which aims to:
Sensitise the community about snake safety (how to act in snake encounters, how to avoid being bitten, how to keep snakes away from your home, etc.). As part of the sensitisation, brochures, both in English and in the local language will be handed out and posters will be provided for public places.
Train people in snake handling so they can remove problematic snakes for others (including providing snake handling equipment). This includes selected community members as well as game rangers.
Train health proffessionals in the area to improve snakebite treatment.
Give first aid in snakebite training to anyone interested in the area, including staff at the various lodges.
Before and after the interventions, HHiSS will conduct an assessment of the number of snake encounters, snakebites, casualties etc. By comparing the numbers, we can analyse which of the abovementioned interventions has most impact and this in turn can inform future interventions elsewehere in Zambia, as well as inform policy decisions.