ZAWA gets a shot in the arm

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Africa Wild Life Foundation (AWF) has given the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) US$1 million for the general management plan of Zambia’s national parks.

AWF Vice President for Programme Operations Daudi Sumba said his institution was committed to working with the Zambia government and other African countries in wildlife protection.

Mr. Sumba disclosed the development during the signing ceremony between the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) at in Lusaka today.

He said wildlife species were depleting in most African countries because of rampant poaching and harvesting of animals, a trend which he said should be fought with the concerted efforts by various governments.

He explained that AWF was working in Kazungula, Lower Zambezi and Sesheke among other national parks in the country.

“We have been in this country for the past 15 years doing land scaping level conservation in the Lower Zambezi. AWF is concerned with wildlife management because they contribute to the gross domestic product of the nations,” Mr. Sumba said.

Mr. Sumba has since called on other stakeholders to join hands in ensuring that Zambia’s game reserves were protected in orders to avoid extinction of wildlife

He added that this fight needs full community participation because most of national parks in Zambia were situated in rural parts of the country.

And speaking at the same function, Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) board chairman Guy Robinson thanked AWF for the support to the institution.

Mr. Robinson said ZAWA was a government institution which was entrusted with ensuring that wildlife was protected throughout the country.

He said ZAWA will remain steady fast and ensure that those perpetrating poaching were dealt with severely because the act was detrimental to economic development.

He further stated that ZAWA was reviewing the general management plan of various national parks in a bid to improve security of the animals.

Mr. Robinson further disclosed that the level of poaching in the country was worrying but said ZAWA has however stepped up security of all national parks.

He cited the recent incidence where ZAWA officers intercepted bundles of ivory tasks, 915 kilogrammes of dried elephant meat at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka on May 18, 2013.

The tasks and the meat were destined for export.

He revealed that another case has been recorded in Kazungula where ZAWA nabbed some poachers including a Zambia Police inspector who were found harvesting animals in a protected area without permission.

Mr. Robinson said ZAWA was working closely with the Zambia Police Service and the Zambia Army.