This project operates in the Eastern Basin of Lake Kariba, in an around the estuary of the Gache Gache River. It was founded by Chapungu Safaris who run Gache Gache Lodge, a 20-bed fishing lodge on the banks of the Gache Gache estuary, and operates with the assistance of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority, the local Police and members of the community.
The aims of the project are:-
•To promote and encourage environmental awareness and action for both fish and wildlife in and around Gache Gache Areas
•To build up a capital base to support and assist Environment Protection Services (EPS) and other environmental and social welfare initiatives in the Gache Gache & Hurungwe areas
•To promote the identification of sound environmental friendly strategies, practices and activities that conserve the environment and the well-being of the local communities
•To assist the community of Gache Gache in their desire to become recognized as a Wilderness Area on a national, regional and international level
•To ensure the continued protection of the Gache Gache Wilderness Area with its distinctive assets for present and future generations
Since it began operations in 2010, the Gache Gache WEPU has been extremely successful in reducing the poaching of fish and wildlife in the Gache Gache area, to the extent that both fish and wildlife populations are starting to thrive. Catches by legal fishermen are considerbly improved and visitors to the lodge are enjoying sightings of elephant, lion and other charismatic wild animals much more frequently than previously.
The anti-poaching operation has not been easy, as there has been some resistance from the surrounding communities who had basically hunted and fished unsustainably in the estuary for years, depleting the resources. However, the project has gradually gained ground with assistance from the authorities.
Donations in cash and in kind are extremely welcome.