The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has instituted investigations into allegations that some crocodile farmers in Siavonga District are releasing condemned crocodiles into Lake Kariba.
ZAWA Acting Director General Jack Chulu said reports of farmers dumping crocodiles in the lake are serious and that the authority will immediately act on the reports to enable establish the truth.
“We want you the stakeholders and the village headmen to help us by bringing forward evidence of farmers that are releasing crocodiles in the lake in order for us to take it seriously with the respective farmers, As ZAWA we will also carry out our own investigations so that the truth is established,” Chulu charged.
Chief Simamba and his four village headmen have attributed the sudden increase in the number of crocodiles in Lake Kariba to the offloading of the reptiles by some white farmers in Siavonga.
The Traditional leaders alleged that the crocodiles that are being released on the lake from the farms are actually the ones that are attacking villagers that live along the lake shore.
The traditional leaders issued the remarks during a meeting that was convened by Tourism and Environment Deputy Minister Moses Mwangala in Siavonga on Monday 21 st December.
The meeting that was held in the District Commissioner Emily Striedl’s office on 21 st December. and attended by key stakeholders was aimed at finding a long term solution on the problem of crocodiles that are attacking people on the banks of Lake Kariba.
Chief Simamba who was represented by his Advisor Phanwell Simamba called on ZAWA to consider carrying out the cropping of crocodiles which he said has become a menace to people’s lives.
“We want government to carry out the cropping exercise of crocodiles on Lake Kariba because they have grown in numbers leading to them attacking both human and livestock animals, “he appealed.
Chief Simamba demanded that the cropping exercise be carried out immediately because government last embarked on such an exercise in the year 1966.
In response, Chulu said as much as ZAWA would like to carry out the cropping exercise, a lot of resources are needed to carry out the exercise.
Chulu said ZAWA however faces a challenge of organizing financial resources to enable carry out the cropping exercise saying things such as a survey need to be done in order to establish the number of reptiles on the waters.
He said that ZAWA will try and talk to its cooperating partners in an effort to try and source for funds needed to carry out the exercise.
Chulu however observed that there is need to conduct public sensitization meetings in villages that are located in crocodile infested areas so that the villages can prevent themselves from getting attacked.
And Mwangala said government is alarmed by the reports of people in Siavonga district that are getting attacked by crocodiles on Lake Kariba some of which have led to deaths.