COVID 19 – The Corona Virus and Chipembele’s Response

Dear Supporters, Programme and Project Participants and Community Members,

Amidst all the global change and instability we felt it was important to keep you updated about the COVID-19 strategy that Chipembele has implemented here on the ground in Mfuwe, Zambia to keep us all safe and our organisation running, though we are continually reviewing the way forward as the pandemic progresses.

First of all, our hearts and thoughts go out to the people who have been affected by COVID-19 in any way. We also hugely appreciate those who are steadfastly working on the front line or researching behind the scenes to contain the virus and help keep us safe. Every one of us has an important role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19, which to date has no vaccination or proven cure.

Wishing you the very best of health and hoping for safe and stable times ahead for you all.

Anna and Steve Tolan

March 2020


Last Updated: November 2020


As the year 2020 comes to an end, classes in Zambian schools have recommenced, and the weather is quickly heating up as we move into the rainy season.

It has been a year of huge changes that no one could have predicted. Reflecting back over the months that our normal programmes have been on hold, we are proud of what Chipembele has managed to achieve considering the restrictive circumstances. All our staff are operating to the best of thier abilities within the limitations that this new normal has required. We have seriously considered how to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in the workplace and community. Our COVID policy therefore includes activities that:

• Prevent and reduce transmission among employees
• Maintain productive yet safe organisational operations
• Maintain a healthy work environment.

While the way that we do things here has adapted, our principles continue to align with our practice.

The following COVID policy and guidelines are in place but are subject to continual review:

1. Ensure the integrity and appropriateness of the information we distribute by sourcing it from the Zambian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation.
2. Maintain personal hygiene by the provision of hand washing stations outside the Chipembele Offices and Chipembele Centre for staff, students and anyone from the public to use freely.
3. Provide hand sanitiser for the Community Conservation Educators in their outreach work.
4. Ensure the organisational Health and Safety Manual includes an up-to-date infectious diseases policy.
5. Maintain social distancing standards with minimal numbers of children or staff permitted in shared office areas at any one time.
6. Maintain a staff WhatsApp group to share information effectively and promptly.
7. Collaborate with the local NGOs, Conservation South Luangwa and the Zambian Carnivore Project, to deliver impactful weekly local radio conservation education sessions without the need for face to face community contact.
8. Ensure staff understand they should stay away from work if they display COVID symptoms and attend their local healthcare facility for testing, then follow the advice given. Employees who appear to have symptoms upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees or visiting members and sent home.

Maintaining a semblance of normality has been key in our goal to continue our programmes when we are able to do so.

We are still fully operating with staff all fully employed and on full wages, providing an example to the community, and a safe place to be in a difficult time. Huge thanks go to our encouraging and considerate supporters around the world. We want you to know that we recognise and appreciate your support and understanding.

Wishing you the very best of health and hoping for safe and stable times ahead for you all.

Anna and Steve Tolan