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Botswana Tsutsubega

We are working with the Tsutsubega community, whom some of you have met on safari, to find ways to help them develop sustainably and benefit from the wildlife they live alongside.

The Tsutsubega community live on the southern edge of the Okavango Delta, north of Maun, an hour and a half from the nearest main road. This area is home to around 1000 people in 124 homesteads, but there is very little in the way of public services or job opportunities. This area is a prime area for human-wildlife conflict; the communities’ cattle are predated, and their attempts to grow crops are often hampered by elephants and other large herbivores, particularly in the dry season when these animals leave the delta in search of food and water. Traditionally, the community have also relied on access to the delta to harvest resources such as fish and grass, but access is now restricted.

Their homesteads are on the periphery of seasonal floodplains, but these plains do not always flood. If they do, it’s only for a couple of months of the year, and the water is not clean. So, when our team, led by RAS Partner Shane Hedges, Reneé Hedges, and RAS Partner Michael Turner, started working with this community back in 2019, access to clean water was the community’s main priority.

With your help, we installed a solar pump borehole for them in a location they requested in 2022. However, the borehole water here was only suitable for washing and watering their cattle and crops. They were still very grateful for this, especially when the alternative meant walking long distances to fetch water.

Then, in 2023, with your support, we partnered with Africa Foundation on a project to put in 2 solar pump boreholes, two hand pump boreholes and a number of water-carrying hippo rollers into the community. See a video of the handover ceremony here and pictures below. Thanks to your help, this community got access to clean water and many other life-changing opportunities that water brings. So now:

We and the Africa Foundation are working on an initiative to support the Tsutsubega community to develop clusters of their existing exposed crop fields into secure vegetable farm enterprises that will give them food security and a sustainable income source. 

Currently, we are working to raise $14,720 to help them establish a vegetable seedling shade house for local vegetable seedling propagation and the first secure communal farm to grow vegetables for their use and to sell to lodges in the neighbouring delta that are very keen to purchase them. This budget includes all the propagation equipment, protective clothing, seedling trays, a solar fencing system, and the cost of an agricultural enterprise teacher for 12 months.

So far, $7,100 of this budget has been raised, and any support for the remaining $7620 would be appreciated!

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 100% of your donation will go to the project you choose, and your donation to our registered 501(c)(3) charity is tax-deductible as provided for by law. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Thanks go to the Africa Foundation, Shane Hedges and The Okavango Express for the images above.

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