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Witness
Manda's Prize
How one award-winning Zambian safari guide is helping his local community.
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2009 16:19 GMT



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Manda Chisanga lives in a remote village in the Luangwa Valley near Zambia's South Luangwa National Park – a popular safari destination for tourists.

He works as a guide in the safari park and he has won a prize for the top travel guide in a competition run by English travel magazine Wanderlust, judged by Michael Palin, Bill Bryson and others. 

The prize is £5000 to spend on his local community. Manda will use it to introduce solar cooking ovens to make life a lot easier, especially for the women of his village, and help reduce deforestation.

Growing awareness of the importance of tourism and the need to protect the environment means that people are discouraged from gathering wood near the safari park to prevent deforestation. 

Villagers are forced to walk greater distances – and that increases other dangers too: each year people are trampled to death by elephants as they gather firewood.

The film follows Manda and solar cooking expert, Crosby Menzies from Johannesburg, as they visit the villages with the new cookers, trying desperately to keep reactionary village chiefs on-side, hoping to demonstrate the cookers to the women and show them how they can reduce their use of firewood and cook as never before. 

Source:
Al Jazeera
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