A combined team of security officers has completed training in anti-poaching conducted by the British army.
A total of 60 officers from the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force, Zambia National Service, Zambia Police, Office of the President and wildlife police underwent the three-week training at Chunga Wildlife Training School in the Kafue National Park.
It is the second of such training done by the British army, with 120 officers trained so far.
Ministry of Tourism and Arts permanent secretary Dr. Auxilia Ponga said the training of the elite task force will enhance the protection of wildlife from “the ever growing and sophisticated syndicates across the country.”
She said protection of wildlife should not be left to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) alone.
“This is not a job to be left to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife alone. Hence the selection and formulation of an elite task force that will be able to back-stop and supplement the efforts of the department,” she said.
And British High Commission Development Director, Steve Beel said Zambia becomes the second country after Malawi to benefit from the British Arm training in Central Africa.
He said the British Government stands ready to help the Zambian Government in combating wildlife crime that has been detrimental to the growth of tourism.
Meanwhile, anti-poaching task force national coordinator, Colonel William Kakoma said now that the British army has done its part there is need for more training for the local group to enhance skills in field tracking and other anti-poaching skills.
He said the team will need more financial support for it to operate effectively such as transport and camping gear.
This is contained in a statement issued by Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, Sakabilo Kalembwe.