Calls to fully exploit wildlife based land reform

Calls to fully exploit wildlife based land reform

Insert from ZBC.

Communities in Matabeleland have been called upon to fully exploit the wildlife based land reform programme and empower themselves through the lucrative safari hunting and game viewing projects facilitated by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks).

Matabeleland is endowed with wildlife resources with Matabeleland North Province being the bastion of the big five and also the prime safari hunting area in the country.

However, communities in the region are grappling with the challenge of human wildlife conflict which can be addressed if resources are availed.

The issue of human wildlife conflict is a result of failure by authorities to share the proceeds of game farming through safari hunting with people who live within these areas, said the director general of Zimparks Mr Fulton Mangwanya.

Addressing people in the Mtshabezi area of Matobo, Mr Mangwanya said beneficiation on wildlife resources by communities is a top government priority.

Mr Mangwanya whose institution donated 50 000 Nile tilapia fingerlings to the Mtshabezi fishing community said they will continue to work with rural communities to ensure that they fully benefit from the exploitation of the available natural resources.

His comments come at a time that the Matabeleland Economic Forum through the Livestock Farmers Union has proposed the establishment of new wildlife conservation areas that will be managed by communities through the chiefs where 15 percent of revenue generated will be used to establish a compensation fund for those whose animals and crops are destroyed by animals.

This proposal which has been well received by chiefs could be the panacea to human wildlife conflict.

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Zimparks guns down hippo in Nyanyadzi

August 31, 2017August 31, 2017
Inset from Zimpapers. THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority last week shot dead a hippopotamus that was damaging winter wheat in Nyanyadzi. The hippo, which had a calf, is believed to have escaped from Save Conservancy. ZPWMA ordered the shooting of the hippos after traditional leaders in the area reported that it was damaging crops and endangering lives. ZPWMA officer, Mr John Danfa, said they were still hunting for the calf which is believed to have found habitat along Save River. “Usually hippos move up and down rivers during the rainy season. We believe the two escaped from Save Valley Conservancy. They were both females and they do not usually click if there is no male. “They are believed to have separated. We received reports from traditional leaders in Hot Springs and Nyanyadzi that these hippos were feeding on wheat and crops in their fields.” “People’s lives were endangered so the authorities ordered its killing. The first time we attempted to kill it, it was in the company of so many cattle and could not do anything. Our officer teamed up with villagers to track it until last week when it was shot down in Nyanyadzi”. The officer is said to have fired 12 shots before the hippo died. The meat was shared by villagers. One of the villagers in Dirikwe village, Mr Tapiwa Munyati, said: “This hippo was becoming a threat to human lives in the area. It was being spotted near homes at night. “There are vegetable gardens along one of Save River’s tributaries where it was being spotted.“We were told that hippos do not like light and the danger was that lives would have been lost.” “A villager survived death by a whisker recently when the hippo strayed into his homestead.“He went out of his house to investigate when his dogs were barking. He had a torch and the hippo advanced towards him. “Fortunately he managed to escape the attack and notified other villagers and the village head. We are appealing to the responsible authorities to make sure that the remaining one is also killed,” said Mr Munyati.