Ministry of Tourism and Arts Permanent Secretary Reverend Howard Sikwela has said the Hippo Culling exercise in the Luangwa Valley will only commence in May 2019 at the start of the hunting season.
Speaking this morning during a meeting with representatives of various Community Resource Boards across the country, the Reverend Sikwela said this would be preceded by sensitization of the communities and stakeholders involved in the process for all to appreciate the benefits of the undertaking.
He said everyone especially those in Eastern Province, where the activity will be undertaken shall be given an opportunity to have a say, and ask questions where they are not sure concerning the culling activity.
Reverend Sikwela said he was, however, happy that many already have an appreciation of the background and benefits of the culling activity.
Earlier, National CRBs Association Coordinator, Isaac Banda wondered if the hunting story was a rumor or a confirmed position by the ministry.
Mr. Banda said he was concerned that local communities in areas where the culling activity will take place have not been fully engaged to appreciate the benefits of such an undertaking.
He said these communities were equal partners with government in the conservation process and hence the need to constantly be kept in the know of what was happening in their surrounding.