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Wildlife Action Group - Malawi
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NEWS 2012

Thuma Telegraph



November 2012

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Dear Friends and supporters

As I write this I dream of a cold wind blowing in my face, goose pimples on my arms, the feel of ice cold finger tips as you make a snow ball and snowflakes landing on my nose!

November in Malawi is painfully hot with temperatures over 40 degrees which sucks every bit of energy you have. By noon nothing moves, and it is necessary to rest! If you can manage to sleep you wake up completely soaked with sweat and feel worse than before. By 4pm it starts to cool down a little and your body and mind starts to be able to function again! At night it is the same! It is just not comfortable with no breeze and this dead weight of heat!

We are all waiting for the rain to come; people are in the fields, the normal panic to find money to buy fertilizer by every Malawian for their fields; do you grow soya, maize, ground nuts, tobacco??!! Where can they get money? Fields are being prepared and there is a flurry of activity for a few hours every morning from 5am to about 8am, THEN it is necessary to find shade and sit out the heat of the day!

injured elephant

Poor little injured elephant.

Over the last few months we at WAG have had many highs and double the number of lows!

We have been challenged to the nth degree but in true WAG spirit we pulled together, worked harder and dealt with each issue and are once again on track and things are beginning to show for all our hard work and energy.

We have made many arrests, been attacked by charcoal burners, building the fence extension, elephants have been out in record numbers, camp was robbed, to mention but a few things!:)

THIS IS AFRICA!

Please read on find out what we have been doing and enjoy the many photos.

Thanks for all your support and for taking the time to read our newsletter.

Yours sincerely

Lynn

-> Please, click here to see fantastic photos and to read more.


July 2012

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Muli Bwanji

About time you had some news from the bush and Malawi! :)

As you all know over the last year or so we have experienced many challenges in our day to day lives. Fuel shortages which involved at times queuing for up to 24 hours, daily power cuts in town, increase in transport costs, shortages of a lot of food items etc.

Since our last newsletter Malawi has experienced some major changes.

new camp

A lot of things have changed for the better around camp

In April the late President Bingu suffered a heart attack and sadly died. The vice President Madam Joyce Banda has stepped up to the mark and is the first Lady President in Malawi and the fourth president since independence, and also the first Lady president in the Southern African Region.

In line with IMF advice, due to the state of the economy the Malawi Kwacha (local currency) has devalued 49%, and with that the cost of most consumable items have also risen in price, including fuel, maize, sugar.

This with the lack of rains last season means many Malawians are suffering major challenges in their day to day lives. Already there is a lack of maize available and what are available are over three times the costs this time last year. Malawi is classed as being in the top five poorest countries in the world and today in some villages there are food shortages and some people are going hungry.

This of course affects our work, and elephants going outside the reserve more than ever come into direct conflict for the very precious food that is in the fields. And people coming into the reserve to illegally take natural resources to subsidize their income or lack of income causes more conflict.

However, the future is bright and we do our best and will continue to try to find some balance to protect these areas, the people and animals plus assist the local population with small projects that will in turn help them to make some money so they can support their families which should in turn reduce the dependence on Malawi’s natural resources and protect it for future generations .

Please read on find out what we have been doing and enjoy the many photos.

Thanks for all your support and for taking the time to read our newsletter.

Yours sincerely, Lynn

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Thuma Telegraph



April 2012

-> Click here to view the complete Thuma Telegraph April 2012(pdf)

Greetings from Thuma!

I have just been looking back on the newsletters from this time last year and remembering writing them! I was here only a few months! To put it mildly it was tough!

Hearing and dealing with the killing of elephants and the many human-elephant conflicts and not being in a position to assist or promise assistance was the hardest!

Now one year on we are in a very different situation! We are delighted to see we have made giant steps forward.

Maize field destroyed by elephants

Maize field destroyed by elephants

Although the elephants are still coming out right now, we have managed to secure funding to extend the fence a further twelve kilometers later this year. This will lead to more food and personal security for the local population and the knock on effect should mean our elephants having reduced contact with humans also!

Thanks to your generous donations this year we have some new scout sponsors, which is fantastic! We are looking for 3 more sponsorships for this year so please if you know anyone or a group of friends that can pool together or a business this would be really appreciated. We will introduce our scout’s to you in each issue this year so you too will get to know them better.

Despite all of positive results we still need to keep on top of things, keep pushing to improve the protection of the reserves and their wildlife now more than ever. A vital part of conservation is to include the local population in our work. We are assisting them this year with many projects that they have requested.

As I am sure you have seen or heard in the news the demand for ivory as well as Rhino horn is increasing and there has been uncountable slaughter of these beautiful animals in severalcountries so we must be on high alert as it could arrive on our door step at any time.

We also need to look forward at other hot spot areas where our elephants are causing untold damage such as the northern boundary of Thuma and maybe extend the fence next year.

We have new challenges to deal with and some old ones!

Thanks for all your support and for taking the time to read our newsletter.

Yours sincerely, Lynn

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Februar 2012

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Dear Friends

So many things have happened since Decemeber I don't know where to start!

After our last newsletter we have received new sponsorships for the next year for some of our scouts which is fantastic news. Thank you all so much.

Wag Scouts 2012

We have had some friends visit us. Jurgen and Leen from Belgium, Iris from Holland (it is the second time to visit for Jurgen and Iris) and Christine from Germany, so our camp was buzzing with laughter and lots of activity!

In this newsletter we have lots of photos so you can see what we have been up to over the last two months and show how a little bit of money can make such a big difference and go a long way.

Our local community have been very much involved in each activity

generating very welcome income for many, with the local carpenters making beds and tables for us, local women painting the our buildings in traditional fashion, at another village we have started a tree nursery planting over 10,000 tree seeds. We rebuilt and refurbished the old scout camp (now the new volunteer camp). Our staff slept on mats but with a donation form Holland they all now have new proper beds with mattresses to sleep on.

Our Belgium friends donated money along with lots of school materials. So we were able to donate exercise books for every child along (1500 copy books) to two schools over near our Dedza camp along with other educational materials such as pens, coluring pencils, toys, footballs and lots more!

It has been an amazing few months.

Hope you like the photos, we enjoyed taking them and participating in the activities.

Yours sincerely, Lynn

-> Click here to read more and to see fantastic photos