Supporting human-wildlife coexistence by providing safe transportation for school children and clinic patients through an elephant corridor
Endlessly fascinating to watch they might be, but elephants can prove more than a little tricky if you find yourself in their path.
For the conservationists among us, the news that certain areas of the Okavango Delta have experienced a steady increase in elephant numbers over the past 15 years has been well received. However, for villagers along the Delta’s panhandle and outskirts, the elephants’ gain could well be their loss, making agricultural land increasingly vulnerable to elephant raiding and humans at risk of fatal encounters with these enormous creatures. Through multiple community meetings, the need for safe transportation for vulnerable community members was identified as a priority.
Natural Selection have provided two buses, joining up with EcoExist and the Okavango Community Trust to launch the ‘Elephant Express’ in January 2020. Insurance is being sponsored by SATIB and the Botswana Insurance Company. Transport will be available through the ‘elephant highways’ identified by EcoExist’s ongoing research in the area. Children from Eretsha, Beetsha and Gunotsoga schools will be safely transported to and from school, and patients heading to Gudigwa, Seronga and Beetsha clinics will be provided with transport during the school day.