Save The Snakes supports Ken Waterhouse to mitigate human-snake conflict in Mfuwe, Zambia. Ken Waterhouse is a snake expert and works at Helping Hands in Snake Safety (HISS). Read more about Ken’s work at Helping Hands in Snake Safety
“Helping Hands in Snake Safety”
Helping Hands in Snake Safety is a small organisation that was born out of the passion for snakes and a realisation that snake conservation and safety are neglected issues in most rural areas of Zambia. To date, Ken and his team have been doing snake removals and relocation and various talks at rural schools to children about snakes and snake conservation. They have also had one snakebite case and were able to get the patient to a hospital, and connect to experts in South Africa for treatment. Luckily they were able to determine that the snake was only mildly venomous and there was no need for hospitalization. This incident highlighted the need to have proper healthcare facilities in Zambia to be able to respond better to envenomation situations.
Aims and Objectives:
The aim of this project is to raise funds for three main focuses of the group, which are:
1) Training of snake handlers in Zambia across the country, with the long-term aim of creating a database of qualified and capable snake handlers. The snake handlers will provide rescue and relocation services throughout the country to reduce the incidences of snakebite.
2) Training and support services to healthcare professionals (first aid responders, doctors and nurses in both urban and rural clinics), to improve first aid of snakebite as well as treatment for severe cases. The focus will be on symptomatic treatment wherever possible due to the difficulties that can be encountered with supply, storage, control, costs and administration of anti-venom.
3) Creating outreach programs for schools across the country where snakes will be brought to classrooms for demonstrations, talks and workshops. The focus will be on what to do if someone encounters a snake, and reinforcing that snakes do not need to be killed when seen.
Ken and his team aim to raise money through the NGO “Raise-A-Smile” by crowdfunding, individual donations, and collaboration with industries that require snake training for health and safety such as mines, farms and construction.
The goal of this project is to to work to get proper data about snakebite in the country and approach WHO for funding of antivenom and training. They will then be able to build a database of hospitals in the country with staff that are properly trained in snakebite treatment of local snakes. They will also be able to build a database with facilities that provide care for all types of snakebite in Zambia. The same database will be replicated for the snake handlers, to reduce incidences of snakebites by having trained professionals around the country able to catch and relocate snakes.
Support Snake Conservation
Ken’s project is a recipient of the 2018 Save The Snakes Support Grant Program. Save The Snakes Support Grants are made possible because of the generosity of compassionate people and organizations who are inspired and dedicated to protect threatened snake populations and mitigate human-snake conflict around the world. Please donate today to help us continue to fund projects like Ken’s snake conservation project in Zambia. Thank you for your support.