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Thursday, May 30, 2024

No poaching at the National Park since 2021

No poaching at the National Park since 2021

Story by Mhlomuli Ncube

THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has pledged to improve the welfare of rangers after dealing with the threat of poachers at the country’s largest game sanctuary Hwange National Park.

It never comes easy for the men and women tasked with protecting the country’s natural heritage for flora and fauna.

The rangers have however passed with flying colours after poaching incidents at Hwange National Park fell from 200 in 2013 to none from 2019 to date.

For that reason, Zimparks has pledged to improve the welfare of rangers and honour them with financial incentives through a 25-year, US$50 million partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and other joint ventures.

“We have been enabled to work well with a provision of reaction vehicles, communicating equipment and all necessary tools to combat poaching,” said a senior ranger, Think Thinkwell Nyathi.

Female ranger, Comfort Chitembwe said, “As a female ranger I am also tasked to work with my male counterparts with no discrimination, this makes me love my job even more.”

“From a time when we had challenges to now when we have almost all equipment, I feel we have made progress. We even have our veterinary clinic to attend to wildlife and this is important to me as a Ranger,” said another ranger, Hali Mabuya.

To consolidate its position as a conservation champion, Zimparks has rolled out a 50 thousand United States dollar programme to cater for the ranger’s welfare in the last two years.

The organisation has also approved a proposal by the Zimbabwe Parks Support Foundation, to pay allowances at Zambezi, Katombora and Victoria Falls in United States dollars.

Zimbabwe prides itself as a global conservation beacon and this has been cemented by the Second Republic’s thrust to improve livelihoods through the heritage economy.

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