With a total area of a good 24 percent of the country, Zambia has the largest national parks in Africa. The South Luangwa National Park in Eastern Province is the country’s best-known wildlife sanctuary and attracts more than 50,000 tourists annually with its extensive and diverse wildlife population. Most of them reach the national park via Mfuwe, Mambwe District, a rural settlement
of about 10,000 people that has grown rapidly in recent years due to tourism and has a small airport. Within a radius of 10 km, scattered over many small villages, live an estimated further 10,000 people. More than 60% of the population works in the tourism sector. However, the camps and lodges have not only created jobs, but have also taken care of the construction and maintenance of schools and health stations in this remote region. Furthermore, they support local organizations which, among other things, stand up for the rights of women and girls
Due to the Corona crisis, many people have now lost their jobs, as tourism has virtually come to a standstill due to the travel restrictions. Not only the nutrition of many families is endangered, but also the health care, which was essentially supported by the tourism income. In addition, the population in this remote region is still insufficiently informed about the pandemic and protective measures to avoid Covid-19 infection. They also have very limited access to nasal masks, soaps and clean water.
Hidden Gems will have soaps and oral nasal protection masks produced by local manufacturers, thus securing jobs. The manufactured articles will be distributed free of charge to the population and local health stations. Their supply with medicines to reduce fever and pain will be ensured and the salary for the continued employment of the doctor at the Kakumbi Clinic, the “main clinic”, will be taken over. Furthermore, the main foodstuff maize flour is distributed to needy families. In cooperation with local organizations, workshops are held to educate the population about Covid19 and measures to prevent infection with the virus. The construction of wells will provide access
to clean drinking water in remote areas.