Zambian Chief Urges Ban On Safari Hunting

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    Oct 1, 2007
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    Zambian Chief Urges Ban On Safari Hunting
    Written by Frederick Mwansa

    CHIEF Musungwa in Itezhi-tezhi District has called on the government to drastically reduce or even ban safari hunting in the Kafue National Park.

    During a fact-finding mission of the Horse Back Safaris in Kafue National Park by tourism deputy minister Moses Mubita, chief Musungwa said safari hunting, though a financially viable activity for Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), was depleting wild animals in the Kafue National Park.

    "I want the government to reduce or stop the issuing of excessive licenses for safari hunting because this has devastating effects on the population of animals in the Kafue Nkala game management area. Animals that are being killed are not even replaced," chief Musungwa said. He said the Nkala Game Management Area had a lot of wild animals but due to increased safari hunting, the population of animals had drastically reduced.

    Chief Musungwa said this threatened the emerging tourism industry in his chiefdom.

    "In olden times you would see herds of buffaloes and other animals in Nkala Game Management Area, but today it's hard to find animals here," he said.

    Chief Musungwa observed that ZAWA promoted destructive hunting safaris instead of supporting investors that were interested in conserving nature.

    "I thought ZAWA is here to protect wild animals and ensure their preservation but look they are instead against me for supporting the Horse Safaris in the Kafue National Park. This investor is interested in preserving tourism instead of hunting safaris which the CRBs, ZAWA and other interested hunters are interested in," he said. "The safari hunters are just annoyed that Namitwi [where the horse safaris has been built] is place where all kinds of animals in the park come to drink water. Poachers and safari hunters like this place because they used to have an easy kill. Their concerns are not genuine at all."

    Chief Musungwa said that by establishing a Horse Back Safaris Lodge at Namitwi, a door for poachers had been sealed hence the complaints.

    The Horse Back safaris project in Nkala Game Management area has been a source of controversy between chief Musungwa who supports the project's site and the government through ZAWA and other stakeholders who are against the location of the lodge.

    The government wrote to the investor, saying they were able to consider his application for a tourism concession if ZAWA relocated the project to another place.

    And Shezongo CRB chairperson Anne Shezongo complained that some investors in the Kafue National Park had resorted to transporting wild animals to other areas when their lease ends.

    "We want the government to seriously address the practice of airlifting the animals from the Kafue National Park to other areas once the tenure of lease is exhausted. There is an investor in the Kafue National Park who after a five-year lease finished started airlifting animals to areas we don't know. This trend must stop. The government must act urgently," she said.

    She also complained that investors in the tourism industry must respect the Zambian laws and the local communities in areas they operated in.

    A day before the fact finding mission in Itezhi-tezhi last Thursday, Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) officers drove to Namitwi to inspect the Horse Back Safaris Development Project.

    ZAWA director general Dr Lewis Saiwana also arrived on a chartered helicopter to inspect the project last Thursday last week and flew back the same day.

    Source: The Post

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