WHAT WE DO
The Soft Foot Alliance Trust was created to address human-wildlife conflict in a way that works for both, people AND animals. By testing new techniques, empathetic of peoples needs, wildlife needs and environmental needs we aim to create sustainable conditions for both people and animals to thrive in the same area and help redevelop the respectful balance people once had with the natural world.
Because we live in a community where people live on about USD $0.30 per day, we needed to develop low-cost practical and scalable solutions that can be implemented by the community members themselves. Part of the Soft Foot Alliance’s vision is that these projects support community members develop trade skills and create a number of regional social enterprises. These new business opportunities move community members beyond subsistence farming and acknowledges that, while it is most welcome, tourism can only provided jobs for a small percentage of local people; much more diverse employment opportunities are needed.
Developing skills, educating people, creating social enterprise and improving prosperity can result in reducing survival anxiety that is prevalent in our impoverished communities. Once people can move beyond day-to-day survival anxiety, that is all consuming, we are able to create and support opportunities that go beyond eliminating human-wildlife conflict to re-connect more local people with the local wildlife needs. In addition introducing permaculture strategies to restore the water table, reverse soil degradation and manage use of water and fire woodland, the community is joining forces to rehabilitate the native environment.
For Judah (pictured), Cecil and many more.
Soft Foot Alliance’s current projects include:
- Zero Visibility Mobile Bomas: Research has shown that if a lion can’t see through a barrier it won’t jump in. Similarly, for cattle, if they can’t see the lion outside the boma (even if they smell it and hear it) they won’t break out in panic, which in turn attracts predators. In over 3 years of use not a single stock animal has been killed in a zero visibility mobile-boma by either a lion or a hyena
- Co-Herd(Ndawonye): The program has been designed to rebuild the status of herding in the community and with the young male demographic group needed to lock after stock animals. Those that agree to protect the communities livestock are, in their time off, given access to training to learn new trades and be a part of developing new local enterprises.
- Bee-Hive Fencing: Elephants are crop-raiders. Bee-hives fences are strung up around the perimeter of fields and as an elephant tries to enter the field they move the rope that in-turn wakes up the bees. In Kenya, where this strategy has been used for some time, 80% of elephants have been stopped from entering fields due to bee-hive fences.
- Rocket Stoves: Manufacturing highly efficient rocket stoves, from local materials, serves several purposes including protecting rural families from cooking smoke related diseases, reduced the need for collecting large amounts of wood, which can be time consuming and brings people in to contact with local wildlife. In addition, taking less wood from the local environment is enable our native tress to regenerate.
- Permaculture: As human impact on the planet becomes more evident to all, the diminishing resources, changing climate, and loss of species and biodiversity can become overwhelming. At the Soft Foot Alliance, we believe there is hope through using a holistic, solutions inspired approach. Permaculture design is about creating regenerative human habitats, turning away from destructive behaviour to habits that enrich our lives and environment at the same time.
- Other Projects: We are developing a number of social enterprise opportunities in communities surrounding Hwange National Park. We are particularly excited when these opportunities are built on a permaculture foundation.
Our vision for the future is one of abundance for all, Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share. We hope that you will enjoy sharing in our journey as we keep you posted on both the highs and the lows along the way.