After creating a tough environment for poachers in Malawi’s Liwonde national park with support from Creating safe haven project, ministry of tourism says will borrow a leaf to take the initiative to Kasungu National park.
Malawi Minister of information, tourism and culture Kondwani Nankhumwa said the initiative that empowered game rangers with incentives among other necessities, has proved successful, after over 70 poachers were apprehended, with 10 thousand lethal snares and gin-traps confiscated.
Nankhumwa said the country is feeling the pitch as it is losing tourist attraction through increased poaching, thereby affecting the country’s economy.
“With the meagre resources, government is struggling to curb poaching, thereby losing revenue, as poachers are reducing tourist attraction,” complained the minister.
While handing over Operation safe haven activities to community through government, Nankhumwa said the operation has proved successful as a result, the ministry is taking it to Kasungu National park where poaching is said to be a problem as well.
Nankhumwa said:- “Since we have given African parks limited a 20 year concession to man Liwonde national park and Nkhotakota game reserve, we are introducing the initiative to Kasungu National park in a bid to make it a safe haven for wildlife.”
Operation safe Haven is a brainchild of one Mark Hiley, a wildlife film-maker who in 2012 came to Liwonde national park as a tourist, and saw lots of elephants and rare black Rhino dying in poachers snares.
“I was just concerned as to why Malawi so obviously in need of tourism income would allow cheap wire snares destroy animals of national importance,” said Hiley when handing over operation safe haven to government of Malawi.
Hiley said other contributing factors before the operation began in November 2014, were badly demotivated, habitual drunk or corrupt game rangers who connived with poachers.
“Massacre of wildlife is halted, law and order is transformed and level of security improved, and hope African parks takes over with in mind, assured security of the country’s population and Rhinos among others,” said Hiley.
Operation safe haven founder assured government that they are willing to continue investing in wildlife protection, if the department of parks and wildlife is serious about protecting its reputation with the donor community and eradicating indiscipline at ground level.
Between November 2014 and June this year 2015, Operation safe haven has spent about 85 thousand United states dollars towards creating a tough environment for poachers.
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