PROBLEM: Enormous accumulation of rubbish at campsites and along tourist trekking paths. Rubbish diminishes the tourist experience, harming the tourist economy, and poses a health risk to the endangered SMNP wildlife.
SOLUTION: Monthly clean-ups. We pay 60 people from local communities to collect rubbish once a month. Clean-up teams are assigned to various campsites and trail areas, and are supplied with latex gloves and reusable barrels for rubbish collection. With the help of the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), rubbish is responsibly disposed of in the nearby city of Gondar.
COST: $XX for x activities.
FUNDS STILL NEEDED?: Yes.
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PROBLEM: Campsite rubbish pits are shallow and open, attracting wildlife and allowing rubbish to be strewn across the landscape. Trash foraging alters wildlife behavior & ecology and poses extreme health hazards.
SOLUTION: Renovate rubbish pits. Working with EWCA officials, we are making new, deeper rubbish pits with custom-fit covers that permit trash disposal while preventing wildlife access. One pit (Chenek campsite) is complete, the rest to follow. All local labor is used.
FUNDS STILL NEEDED?: NO
PROBLEM: A) Plastic waste. B) Unemployment. Tourists dispose of thousands of plastic bottles a year in the SMNP rubbish pits. Plastic bottles take, on average, 450 years to degrade (link to citation). Unemployment leads to increased livestock grazing, land cultivation, and tour guide saturation in the park.
SOLUTION: Collection and recycling of plastic bottles into materials that can be used for craft-making. Employment of local women, who are among the most commonly unemployed and disenfranchised, to manage the recycling and produce crafts for sale. A percentage of the sale of crafts made by local women with recycled plastic from the SMNP will go back into conservation activities.
This initiative is in the planning stages. Please check back for more information.