As the world adjusts to the “new normal” of face masks, social distancing, and regular sanitization, here at BCP, we are focusing on the need to protect the health of our families, our staff, our partners, and our community.
Over the last few days we have seen spikes of over 15% in cases and 40% in deaths in Zambia which is a sign that now, more than ever, we need to be vigilant. Supporting our team, our partners and the communities we work with through these trying times is a top priority for BCP. In addition to the measures that we have taken in our office, we are making every effort to extend the same level of support to our partner Chiefdoms, as well as small businesses across Zambia.
In April, we donated 3.5 tons of soap to cater to each household in each Chiefdom in the Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP) to help support household sanitation efforts. A total of 35,000 households benefitted. In July, we donated 100 wash basins and 3,000 re-usable masks to Mambwe District Education Board for use in various schools around South Luangwa National Park.
As the world enters an economic recession not seen since the Great Depression of 1929, we are seeing dramatic decreases in tourism and funding available to conserve African biodiversity strongholds. Never more than now is it important to try to support these organizations who are doing great complementary work in the same ecosystems where BCP operates. Our hope is that when we emerge from COVID, that the “ecosystem” of businesses and NGOs supporting the same Chiefdoms as us will still be strong.
In an effort to aid small businesses that are facing unprecedented adversity, BCP’s Board rallied an emergency fund to provide financial grants to tourism businesses and conservation NGOs in Eastern and Lusaka Provinces. The facility named the “REDD+ Emergency Business Support Fund” disbursed 1 million Kwacha (US$56,000) as grants to 14 small tourism businesses and NGOs. This fund will help these organizations to pay community employees subsistence packages. The grant is set to impact 6,876 beneficiaries directly and over 61,600 beneficiaries indirectly.
BCP also became a member of BCCET (Business Council Covid19 Emergency Taskforce) in Zambia. This council was created to bring together leaders from the private business sector to coordinate efforts to mitigate the financial, economic, and social effects of Covid-19.
We believe that it is critical to stand united and combine all efforts to support both our communities and the Government in the fight against Covid-19.
As a reminder, please remember to vote for BCP through the Environmental Finance Awards under the category “Best Project Developer – Forestry and Land-Use”. Entries close on 31 July 2020.