Hunger months are when a family is unable to eat sufficient nutritious food due to lack of money or resources. In this area alone, three-quarters of the indigenous community suffer from food insecurity with three hunger months a year, many earning less than $1 a day.
Decades of conflict and corruption have fuelled forest exploitation with families desperate to find a source of income. The loss of so many of the local population during conflict has meant that communities have also been losing their cultural and spiritual ties with the forest.
With 85% of people needing to pay for medical services not having the means to pay, many take loans that exacerbate debt which they attempt to resolve through unsustainable forest use.
The cycle of hunger and poverty drives poaching, hunting for bushmeat and conflict between communities and elephants.