1 July 2012

The Zambezi Society’s Wildlife Outreach Manager,  Leslee Maasdorp reports:

“We revisited Mola and Kalundu Primary Schools on 12th June 2012 and were delighted to find that they both had the same teachers who were continuing to run the Wildlife Clubs and had carried out the activities we had introduced on our previous visit such as a quiz competition.  I presented them with new material on threatened birds, explaining the significance of this and also donated posters and magazines.  Later on the hope is that these wildlife topics will become part of the classroom teachings.

Kalundu’s head teacher, Mr Padmore Kapandura is doing well with this project and I am supplying information on how he can receive further training in the environmental sector which he requested.  Two other teachers assist in club activities.

He has one brick classroom – the rest of the classes meet under pole and thatch structures and I was impressed that all classes were at work with their teachers when I arrived, as my visit was quite unexpected (see pictures left and centre above).  All eight teachers share a rather small house.

The journey to these remote schools was an adventure, taking nearly two days – by road to Kariba and onwards on the Kariba Ferry.  This carried a 6 months’ supply of building materials (600 bags of cement and two dozen drums of fuel and plenty of paint) as well as a hired 7-tonne lorry to ferry the goods to the schools.    It takes over an hour to travel the 17km over severely damaged roads.

The Phyllis Aspinall Foundation (PAF) building team, has completed classroom blocks and houses for Mola Secondary and are to be praised for putting up good looking buildings under difficult circumstances.  Construction has begun at Mola Primary.  It will take a year or two before the team moves on to Kalundu School – perhaps by then the district authorities may have considered mending the neglected main road making building easier.

On a short visit to the Mola Wildlife Club, I found the pupils better at English than at Kalundu.  One of their teachers is already involved in helping to protect rhino in the nearby Matusadona National Park, while the another is studying for a professional Guides qualification.  The same new resources were handed to this club (pictured at right above).  Club members are now entering for a painting competition.  It is fortunate the teachers are enthusiastic about wildlife and its conservation as the project relies heavily on their input in such remote districts.

I would like to thank Charles Pickering and Dirk Oosthuizen from the Phyllis Aspinall Foundation for logistical support, Mr and Mrs I Crockford for their hospitality and transport and Steve Edwards of Musango Safari Camp and my husband for their inputs.”

Broadening the Wildlife project horizons
The following institutions are starting on the Wildlife Outreach programme – four primary schools found between Makuti and Chinhoyi and three Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife schools from Marongora and Chivero as well as Rutendo School in Chirundu.