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Malawi: only paradise has no fences

Update: Since 2022, Rapunzel donates the HAND IN HAND donation (previously HAND IN HAND Fund) to the RAPUNZEL One World Organic Foundation.

In order for humans and animals to live together in harmony, it is sometimes necessary to build a fence. To ensure that even elephants get the message, it should probably also be an electric fence. In the Salima District, southwest of the Malawi Lake, there is a solar-powered fence that informs the giant animals: up to this point but no further.

The 12 kilometer long fence keeps the animals in the Thuma Forest Reserve out of the adjacent villages. Simultaneously it helps to ensure the success of a long-term project to protect both the wild animals and the catchment area for the Malawi Lake. This project has been managed together by the nature protection organization, Wildlife Action Group (WAGI e.V.), and the National Forest Agency of Malawi since 1996.

The fact that many elephants have returned to the Thuma Forest Reserve is a major success. The flora and fauna of the reserve have also made a strong recovery thanks to a series of environmental measures. Unfortunately however, the elephants were regularly leaving the boundaries of the reserve and not only destroying the farmers’ crops in the nearby villages, but even killing a number of people. Not surprisingly, the farmers’ anger was directed at the animals. In the end WAGI and the farmers came up with the fence as a solution. With the support of the Hand in Hand-Fund, WAGI gamekeepers and men from the affected villages constructed the fence. Many people were thereby able to earn a living.

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