To contextualise the scenarios and the findings in this study, background information relevant to the study sites is described below.


Study sites

There are three study sites: 1) A military hospital site in Accra that is associated with large roosts for fruit bats, 2) Ve-Golokuati, the capital of the Afadjato District in the Volta Region, and 3) Tano Sacred Grove in Tanoboase, near Techiman.

Livelihood strategies

In Ve-Golokuati (population 14,000) most people are farmers, growing vegetable crops. Tano Sacred Grove is a small farming community with a population of 5,500. The majority are engaged in smallholder agriculture with traditional system of farming and livestock keeping.

Land-use change

Apart from the increasing hunting pressure In Tanoboase, the conversion of land into farms and plantations for fruits and cashew is expanding as the majority of the farmers are depending on the land for sustenance. This is increasing the conflict between bats and farmers.

Map of study site in Ghana

Figure: Map of study site in Ghana.


Study sites

Ijara District and Tana River, both located in an arid/semi-arid area in north-eastern Kenya.

Livelihood strategies

In Ijara District pastoralism is the main source of livelihood. In Tana cultivation is the main activity, sustained with irrigated farming. Both areas are inhabited by vulnerable communities whose livelihoods are highly susceptible to climate variability and infectious diseases.

Land-use change

Ijara District is undergoing gradual land-cover changes, largely driven by climate change and demographic shifts relating to people, livestock and wildlife.

The area around Tana River has experienced rapid land-use/land-cover changes over the past 20 years or so, due to the establishment of large-scale and smallholder irrigation schemes, introduced to alleviate food insecurity.

Map of study site in Kenya

Figure: Map of the study site in Kenya showing the major land uses and ecosystems.

Sierra Leone

Study sites

The study sites are four communities in the Kenema District with recorded Lassa incidence: Majihun, Lambayama, Lalehun Kovoma, and Largo Squire in Segbwema. At the Kenema Government Hospital, 500-1000 suspected cases of Lassa fever are seen each year. The region receives much higher rainfall than other parts of the country and accounts for most of the forested areas. Each of the sites displays potentially important variants of ecosystem and land-use features, and the ecological and climatic conditions that might favour outbreaks of the Masotomys rodent.

Livelihood strategies

All the communities studied are engaged in farming rice, cassava and other staple crops. Lambayama and Largo Squire are more urban and Majihun and Lalehun Kovoma are rural, also engaged in mining activities.

Land-use change

Land use changes are seen by converging natural ecosystems to agriculture, urban expansion, and settlement. These may be increasing contact and transmission from rodents carrying pathogens, with possible significant impacts in poor farming, peri-urban and mining settlements.

Map of study site in Sierra Leone

Figure: Map of the Kanema District and the 4 communities.


Study sites

Southern part of the Luangwa Valley, located in the Eastern Province of Zambia.

Livelihood strategies

Farming is the main livelihood strategy, with maize and groundnuts commonly grown for home use. However, cash crops are on the increase.

Land-use change

Mambwe District is undergoing gradual land-cover changes, largely driven by climate change and demographic shifts relating to people, livestock and wildlife.

Since the decline of the mining industry, cotton growing has been promoted, resulting in increased land clearance. Livestock population density on the plateau has also been increasing. Other notable changes include increasing food production on mountain slopes. This is the result of a shortage of arable land, particularly around large towns. It has caused deforestation, soil erosion and flooding. Many people are moving into the area in search of fertile land for farming.

Map of study site in Zambia

Figure: Map showing Mambwe District and the National Parks in Eastern Province of Zambia.


Study sites

Hurungwe District is in the Mashonaland West Province, in the Northern part of Zimbabwe and overlapping the Zambezi Valley. This is one of the most populous districts in Zimbabwe, with a population of 324 675. It is prone to drought, floods, poor soils and, occasionally, marauding animals, all which harm or destroy crop fields during summer. Disease outbreaks are common.

Livelihood strategies

Threatened by poverty, the people of Hurungwe are engaged in four distinct activities for livelihood: 1) Foraging, 2) Livestock production 3) Hunting, or 4) Farming.

Land-use change

Over the years people have migrated and settled in these regions increasing the pressure on both land and ecosystems. Development processes and land use change in the region has over time have resulted in poverty among residents, leading to devised strategies for livelihood, such as intensification of agriculture and cultivation of cash crops. These strategies have in turn impacted the regional ecosystem services, biodiversity loss, and changed wildlife habitat.

Map of study site in Zimbabwe

Figure: Mukwichi Communal Lands, Hurungwe District.

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