The People of Mushima Mubambe's Chiefdom
The Kasonso Busanga GMA has local communities bordering its southern sector as well as its north-western sector. Land in the GMA is customary land, under the custodianship of Chief Mushima Mubambe. The people of Mushima Mubambe's chiefdom are mainly Kaonde-speaking people who make up the majority of the population. Other ethnic groups are Lundas, Lozis, Luvales, Mbundas and Tongas who are mainly farmers and are found in South West and North West. The human settlements are predominantly along the main road that originates from the town of Kasempa.
In Zambia, a Game Management Area (GMA) must allow sustainable socio-economic utilization of its resources to surrounding communities within the respective chief’s kingdom. As concessionaires of this GMA, it is our mandate to ensure that these local communities benefit from Ntengu Safaris’ management of the GMA. This is why each year, we work with the Mubambe Community Resource Board (CRB) and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to develop infrastructure and manage traditionally-harvested natural resources. The community obligation supports the construction of projects, such as maternity wings, bridges, boreholes, markets and schools. We have a dedicated Community Liaison Officer that oversees all administration and project development on behalf of Ntengu Safaris and the Mubambe CRB.
Ntengu Safaris is by definition a hunting operator, as such we derive income from the sustainable utilization of animals in the form of hunting, which is a requirement to manage any GMA in Zambia. A portion of the concession and trophy fees is given to the Mubambe CRB, which is used to pay the salaries of community scouts. Meat from these hunts is also distributed to families in the surrounding communities.
Over and above this, Ntengu Safaris allows and manages a caterpillar harvest each October where people spend a week in the GMA collecting edible caterpillars belonging to the Saturniidae family of emperor moths. These caterpillars form a much-needed protein source as well as a source of income as they are dried and sold to shops in the nearby towns. Ntengu Safaris and DNPW scouts patrol the campsites of caterpillar harvesters to make sure that they do not cut down any trees nor conduct any illegal activity such as poaching.
Between March and May each year, once the rains have subsided but the rivers are full, local fishermen enter the GMA to conduct traditional fishing. Every fisherman must have a permit to fish in the Kasonso Busanga. Ntengu Safaris scouts patrol the fishing camps to ensure that they are only fishing according to their permit. The fish species in Kasonso are fast-growing and resilient floodplain species, that fetch a high price in urban markets, making this is a valuable source of food and income for the surrounding communities.
Ntengu Safaris employs roughly 30 permanent local employees as scouts, camp staff and general workers, as well as seasonal labor teams when the need arises. This directly contributes to poverty alleviation in the surrounding communities.
We are committed to working with all stakeholders involved, not only for the improvement of our wildlife populations, but for the improvement of the livelihoods of the people of Zambia as well.