To promote and preserve the biodiversity of Lake Tanganyika for the sustainable benefit of its inhabitants through a partnership with the community and the government of Zambia.
Lake Tanganyika is one of the most astounding natural habitats on earth. Its great productivity and biodiversity support millions of people in the Tanganyika basin. Nsumbu National park is situated at the southern shore of Lake Tanganyika, the second largest freshwater body in the world. It is one of only two sanctuaries that actually extend into the lake, protecting the famous Tanganyika cichlids of which over 95 percent is endemic to the lake. Next to that, this national park in far northern Zambia actually has a vegetation type named after it: Itigi-Nsumbu thicket. Unfortunately like so many other natural resources the pressures from population growth, poverty and greed has caused a steady decline of the fish life in the lake and the wildlife around it over the last decades.
It is quite easy to support conservation in theory but very challenging in actual reality. Combating terrestrial poaching would fall under the “challenging” category of conservation around the lake but when talking about illegal fishing things get really complicated. Just about every person on Lake Tanganyika relies on fishing as a livelihood, and most consider it a divine right. Changing that perception is incredibly difficult, yet achievable, and will take a very long time.
When CLT started operating in late 2012, it was 5 minutes to midnight for Nsumbu NP. We have been working very hard and the work has been challenging, expensive and complicated, but we are starting to see results. The elephants are starting to reclaim parts of the National Park where they haven’t been seen for years and the numbers of general game are picking up. It was 5 minutes to midnight back in 2012 and even though we’ve been having success, it still is 5 minutes to midnight at the moment. We have been able to hold the clock back for a number of years now but we need to turn back that clock to a time when Nsumbu was famous for its large buffalo herds, huge black maned lions, and its flourishing fish life to really succeed in our efforts. For that, we need your help! Find out how you can help by clicking on the “you can help” tab in the menu.