AWF hands over anti-poaching equipment to strengthen conservation efforts.
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(Harare, Zimbabwe-January 26, 2024)-In a long overdue gesture to strengthen anti-poaching operations in protected and communal areas of the Mid Zambezi Valley Landscape, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) handed over ranger field equipment to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) and Rural District Councils on the 26th of January 2024 at the famous Chinhoyi Caves.
The consignment, worth over $33 000 comprises of stretcher beds, overalls, military boots, berets, tents, raincoats, back packs, mosquito nets, sleepings bags and other field work necessities will advance anti-poaching work, enhance patrol effectiveness, aid in deterring poachers, and safeguard Zimbabwe’s wildlife heritage. It was made possible through funding support from the European Union (EU) under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (CITES MIKE) project, the ongoing Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) funded ‘UTARIRI - Integrated and Adaptive Biodiversity, Climate and Livelihoods Project in the Zambezi Valley, 2022-2025’ and other private donors.
“The anti-poaching field equipment being handed over today will motivate the skilled rangers and scouts to carry out their duties diligently in a conducive environment. Rangers and scouts in protected and communal areas will be in a better position to deal with Human Wildlife Conflict issues, promote the peaceful co-existence of people and wildlife, strengthen their anti-poaching work, and contribute immensely to three key pillars namely leading for wildlife, caring for wildlife and living with wildlife,” said Olivia Mufute, AWF Country Director in a speech read on her behalf by the AWF Mid Zambezi Valley Program Manager Simon Muchatibaya. “It signals AWF’s commitment to build strong partnerships with stakeholders like Zimparks towards wildlife conservation.”
Zimparks hailed AWF for the support rendered citing that the gesture will assist rangers when they go out to conduct their anti-poaching patrols and contribute towards thriving wildlife and wildlands.
“We are very grateful and happy to receive this very expensive equipment from AWF. This will go a long way in assisting our rangers when they go out especially this rainy season; they really need this equipment when they go out looking after our parks estates, they [rangers] must be looked after very well so that they have the zeal and enthusiasm to continue doing their work This is going to assist in ensuring that our key species will increase instead of decreasing,” Zimparks Board Chairperson Dr Agrippa Sora said. Zimparks Director General Dr Fulton Mangwanya thanked the steadfast support that AWF gives in protected areas through infrastructure development, provision of vehicles and boats for anti-poaching work as well as digital radio communication systems installation. In his
comment, he also pinpointed human wildlife conflict as a major issue affecting communal areas like Mbire District and appealed to AWF to add more vehicles for quick reactions in the area.
“AWF is our all-weather friend in the landscape; they have made quite a lot of development in the Mid Zambezi Valley landscape, you can see all infrastructure development, the boats that we are using , even the vehicles and several other things , we invite you to see what AWF is doing in that landscape, ”Dr Mangwanya said.
About African Wildlife Foundation
AWF is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and their habitats as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wild lands.