Members of the community skinning the elephant after officers from the department of national parks and wildlife gunned it down. Picture by KELVIN MUDENDA
Members of the community skinning the elephant after officers from the department of national parks and wildlife gunned it down. Picture by KELVIN MUDENDA
Report of people killed by elephants around the Livingstone Game Park in the last three weeks, is most regrettable and in effect it is evidence of conservation policy failure, says Green Party President Peter Sinkamba.

An elephant is reported to have killed a man on Thursday this week. The dead man was cycling home after a fishing expedition in Livinstone’s Simonga. This brings the total number to 20 of people killed by elephants in the last three weeks.

Sinkamba said human-wildlife conflicts around Livingstone Game Park have escalated in the area due to policy-related problems such as encroachment; poor wildlife conservation strategies; poor livestock , crop and fishing strategies, and others.

He said these conflicts can be reduced by providing policy that guarantees adequate habitat to wild animals, maintenance of appropriate physical barriers to wild animals, active guarding of the game park and crops, and stopping of degradation of habitat quality.

“Man-animal conflict often results not because animals encroaching human territories but vice versa. Often, man thinks animals have encroached in his territory when the opposite is the case,” Sinkamba said.

He said the problem is that man’s thinking is rooted in anthropocentrism.

“Anthropocentrism is a school of thought that could be equaled to Dr. Kaunda’s humanism ideology? which is man-centered. The underlying belief is that man’s needs must override competing needs of other species. This school of thought is not compatible with the contemporary tenets of sustainable development where man’s current needs must be balanced with the needs of other species and future generations” Sinkamba said.

He said in the era of sustainable development, man-centered ideology is a misplaced school of thought.

“Remember, we are talking about the conflict between man and endangered species. These species are endangered not because of natural causes alone but by and large, because man has failed to preserve and protect them through his selfish, direct, and indirect anthropogenic activities. Man’s attitude is destructive, and usually for pleasure and gain,” Sinkamba charged.

Sinkamba gave as an example, of a Government decision in 2006 to grant authority to a foreign investor, Legacy Holding, to construct a hotel and a golf course in Livingstone Game Park, which if executed would have blocked the transnational elephant corridor which these animals use when they trek to and from Zimbabwe and Botswana.

“If I did not block that so-called Legacy Holding development in 2006, today, elephants would have been confined to Zimbabwe and Botswana. Otherwise, so many human lives would have been lost because the elephants were going to forcefully fight for their space and kill any person found along their corridor,” he said.

He also gave another example of the latest decision by President Donald Trump to lift of the ban on elephant trophy hunting in Zambia and Zimbabwe, which charged was for pleasure and gain.

“This is typical thinking which is rooted in anthropocentrism. Why on earth should a right thinking leader unleash his shameless hunters to come to Zambia to hunt elephants when we are struggling to upscale our stocks which have been depleted from over 100,000 heads in 1980s to less than 30,000 at the moment? Why hasn’t he unleashed them to go and hunt polar bears in Alaska, which too are endangered species?” he charged.

Sinkamba said proper policy management practices have to be crafted and enforced, like conservation education for local population, resettlement of villages, curbing grazing by livestock and domestic animals in park areas, to preserve the wild animals. He said policy to assure provision and availability of natural water and space, including less or no disturbance from the tourists needs to be put in place.

He also said that Government should take bold steps to remove encroachments and, if necessary, cancel title deeds already granted in areas that have encroached into game parks. He challenged Government to initiate acquisition proceedings not only to preserve and protect wildlife and its corridors but human life and property as well.

Sinkamba also challenged Government to consider providing adequate and immediate compensation to affected families, in deserving cases.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Someone mentioned that the wild animals in Mosi-O-Tunya area especially elephants have been eating a lot of marijuana grass as a food supplement …

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    • On a happy society, Elephants can dance and play with humans.
      But in a starving and violent Zambia today, we will witness more.

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    • Sinkamba has obviously raised a lot of good points as Arms Folded notes in 2 below. I think the Green Party leader gets it wrong when he equates the failure of anthropocentrism to that humanism as a man centred society.

      In his philosophy, KK fully recognises that man has the huge task of stewardship over all God given resources and would agree with Sinkamba that balanced planning for everyone’s and everything’s well being was a priority …

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  2. This guy is smart, period! Whats more, he is well balanced.. He has not only smart and practical but sustainable measures. The animals are just being animals..they follow routes which they have trode on for thousands of years. You build a plot on their route and all of sudden they are the tresspassers? A lack of understanding how things work!

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  3. These are the wasted years..the empty tins are just good for issuing hunting licenses and depleting resources.
    Wasted years indeed!!

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  4. I wonder how bbq elephant nyama tastes like, It’s probably pretty stringy and chewy , needs to be marinated for days to break it down.
    anyone in/on here ever tasted nyama nsofu to give us a first hand testimony?

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  5. A solution was presented to helping sort out the Elephant problem very cost effectively. A pilot program was run in Livingston out of the promoters pocket a “Mr Sandy Simpson” for almost 5 years. The authorities including ZAWA and W.W.F. (Zambia Chapter) and various Govt ministries liked the solution presented as it worked “AND IT WAS VERY CHEAP”. Elephants and other wild animals were kept effectively away from humans and crops and the villagers were able to begin appreciating the value of the wild animals. Human Wildlife Conflict in tested areas dramatically reduced. Unfortunately despite numerous promises the said authorities were not prepared to finance this cheap solution and wanted the individual who had no alternative source of financing to to continue to finance the project…

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  6. I salute President Sinkamba for proper analysis and articulation of this issue. However, I would like to add that for Zambia to finally appreciate these ideas education is the key. Education should not only be limited to those who share boundaries with animals. All Zambians must be exposed to this kind of education.
    You may say how do we do it? Botswana is doing it. Why can’t Zambia do it? I have taught in that country. I can tell you that they have a spiral science syllabus from grade one to grade 12. What I mean by a spiral syllabus is that there is a topic on a certain subject at every level, except that as you get to higher grades more/higher level material is introduced. For instance, the topic on wild life can be covered in grade one but we could just be introducing different…

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  7. Sinkamba’s has done a very good job to protect wild life in Mosi-oa tunya park.Very visionary supporter wild life.i am very happy to observe that Zambia has such great person in Game Management.
    I lived in Livingstone until 1970.
    With my two friends we used to go jogging every Sunday mornings along the “riverside Drive ” and always viewed Giraffes and other animals from the from the road as we jogged along the road coming up to the fences.At that time animals were no threat.We lived in the best place in this world.Today people /tourists are encountering these animals mainly because game management is lacking in these areas.Over population has occurred in the parks.Especially Elephants.It is very expensive to dart and move them.
    Game reserves set up all over Africa are adequate to…

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