The Department of National Parks and Wildlife is calling for active participation of communities in protection of wildlife in Kalumbila district of North-western province.
Area Warden for Kalumbila district, Francis Samalumo said there is need for communities to be involved in wildlife protection if the numbers are to increase.
He told ZANIS in an interview in Kalumbila today that the department has embarked on a 10 day programme, to engage communities in chiefdoms on wildlife protection through the creation of wildlife protection committees.
“It is high time the communities showed active participation in wildlife protection if we must see the wildlife numbers increase. We want to ensure communities are involved to best address the problem. The committees have sub-committees which are referred to as village action groups and comprise of nine members appointed through an election,” Mr Samalumo said.
He bemoaned the low levels of wildlife in the game management area between Matebo and Musele chiefdoms.
“The game management area between Matebo and Musele chiefdom is much depleted owing to too much poaching activities in the area,” he said.
“In the recent past the department did not invest much in the protection of wildlife in the province. It is the least stocked in terms of wildlife and the closeness to the border areas, has also contributed to the depletion,” Mr Samalumo said.
He has disclosed that Kalumbila Minerals Limited (KML) has come on board to support the department.
“There is a lot of support coming from KML. They are helping us in the setting up of committees, they supported the training and funding of 17 game scouts, the provision of field kits, camping tents and weapons for operations,” he explained.
Mr Samalumo expressed happiness with the community initiative by the Musele chiefdom to establish the Kafumfula camp site.
“What the community of Musele has done is very encouraging. They have managed to establish the Kafumfula camp site with the help of KML. This will not only serve for adventure purposes but also one way of generating an income for the community,” he said.