Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation (ITPC) in partnership with Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has embarked on Five-day wildlife awareness campaigns to promote wildlife conservation in Itezhi Tezhi district in central province.
The awareness campaign dubbed : “promoting wildlife conservation” is being carried out in areas around Kafue National Park, Game Management Areas(GMAs), animal sanctuaries and areas synonymous with human-wildlife all over the district.
“This awareness campaign is aimed at increasing community awareness for discouraging poaching; overfishing and zero tolerance to poaching and promoting recommended methods for fishing, ” Mr. Kelvin Kamwale, a representative of ITPC Director said.
He said this during an awareness campaign held at Masemu grounds today.
Mr. Kamwale said the US$ 371,000 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program is also aimed at changing the lifestyle of people in Itezhi Tezhi who have been affected by the hydroelectric power project.
He observed that human-animal conflict remains a major challenge in Itezhi Tezhi and that concerted efforts to sensitize residents on the importance of protecting the animals as a resource of revenue.
“The greatest danger to wildlife comes from human activities such as poaching, overfishing and indiscriminate cutting of trees, ” Mr. Kamwale stressed.
Meanwhile Zambia Wildlife Authority Ecologist Clive Chifunte implored residents of Itezhi Tezhi district to play a major role in discouraging habits that endanger wildlife resources.
“Let’s strive toward restoring Itezhi Tezhi as a home of the greater Kafue National Park which shall boast of well managed natural resources” Mr. Chifunte said.
He also thanked the ITPC for attaching importance to wildlife conservation saying the move will greatly improve tourism in the district.
Further a representative of Itezhi Tezhi District Commissioner Ms Shipota Mulendema said the role of government is to provide an enabling environment in which such programs can strive for the betterment of the community.
“This can already been seen by the construction of the D769 road which will ease accessibility to the park and transportation of agricultural produce.” She said.
She further said that government recognizes the important role ITPC was playing in ensuring education of communities on the need to conserve wildlife.
The Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation is 50-50 joint venture Company between Zambia electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and TATA.
The awareness campaigns included lessons on land use in protected areas and the benefits of conserving wildlife. These campaigns are part of the environmental management program by the corporation.