Tourism and Arts Minister Jean Kapata has disclosed that the ministry will unveil a new Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) board within a month to ensure that work continues in the wildlife sector.
She said government remains committed to improving the operations of the ZAWA in the country.
Ms Kapata said government wants to ensure that ZAWA is run professionally and efficiently in order to boost tourism in Zambia.
Ms Kapata further said government will engage stakeholders to see how to address the many challenges the authority was facing.
The minister said this in Mufumbwe district in North-western province yesterday when she paid a courtesy call Mufumbwe District Commissioner (DC) Mankishi Mukokwe.
The Minister who is on a familiarisation tour of the province was flanked by officials from the ministry of tourism and regional coordinators.
Speaking earlier, Mufumbwe District Commissioner Mankishi Mukokwe called on government to support ZAWA in the district who she said face a number of challenges which include accommodation, staffing levels, and transport.
Ms Mukokwe said once supported ZAWA would be able to address the rising number of poaching cases in the district among other problems.
“ZAWA here is facing a huge problem of office space and staffing levels, I’m reliably informed that to operate at maximum ZAWA needs about 235 officers but they currently has 48 officers,” she said.
Meanwhile, Chief Chizera of the Kaonde speaking people of Mufumbwe has called on government to provide people in his area with loans that will allow them engage in game farming.
The traditional leader reiterated that this will help reduce poaching in the district.
“When we give our people loans they will be able to get into business, to buy fertiliser, and avoid these bad practices like poaching.” the chief said.
Meanwhile, Tourism and Arts Director Angola Lubinda said the ministry is looking at measures to support locals in the wildlife sector.
Mr Lubinda disclosed that the ministry has since held discussions with the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) to seek ways of supporting locals in game farming.