PROGRAMMES: Mlawula Community Outreach
The main objectives of the Community Outreach Programme as stated by the Mlawula management plan (1996) are:
- To improve relations between the nature reserve and adjacent communities.
- To assist local communities in the natural resources both with in and around the nature reserve.
- To assist local communities in improving their quality of life through income generation, education and other social projects.
Beekeeping is carried out in the Mhlumeni and Shewula communities. Initially, the hives were set up within the nature reserve, near the entrance gate, but there were problems with the hives being raided by honey badgers. The Mlawula COP works iwth the communities on this project, the project being a means of income generation for the communities, who harvest honey and beeswax. The beeswax is used for candle making and cosmetic purposes, and the honey is eaten and sold.
This is another income generation project, where the guineafowls are sold either alive or dead. It also supplements the communities diets, and is an appropriate alternative to chickens. The waste from the guineafowls is used for making liquid manure for the communities gardens.
The rabbits project is another means of income generation for the communities, as well as supplementing their diets. The rabbits provide good meat, the skins can be used for making shoes, and the waste products are used for manure in the communities vegetable gardens.
Resources and Funding Requirements
The following inputs are required for the continued improvement and expansion of the Community Outreach Programme:
- Funding for workshops
- Educational materials
- Physical commutment from communities
- COP/EEP personnel training
- Funding for meetings
- Materials for constructing project components
- Materials for curriculum development and publications