West Lunga game park to be rejuvenated

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 11:57:56 +0000

By Nation Reporter

 A FULL range of wildlife could one day be restored to the West Lunga Management Area (WLMA) under a project that aims to revive the delicate ecosystem in the remote part of North Western Province.

As part of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) plans to enable the eco-system function again, a new wildlife camp Mukambi was handed over to the department this week by the Trident Foundation, supported by First Quantum Minerals (FQM).

Speaking when he officially handed over the camp to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife through the mining firm’s subsidiary Kalumbila Minerals Limited (KML), FQM country manager General Kingsley Chinkuli reaffirmed FQM’s commitment to taking care of Zambia’s eco-systems by preserving forests and wildlife.

“As a partner in development, we as FQM want to assure you the Director General (DNPW) and the representative of their royal highnesses that we are committed to seeing an improved management of the ecosystems in West Lunga Game Reserve during the operations of our mining activities,” he said. The overarching objective of FQM’s conservation strategy is to support DNPW to rehabilitate the ecological functions of the West Lunga Management Area.

This includes restoring the complex of mammal species that have become locally extinct or endangered, and reinstating the historical status of West Lunga as a breeding sanctuary for elephants, whilst preserving the integrity of the Mavunda forests.

Gen. Chinkuli said KML, through the Trident Foundation, was also handing over VHF digital radios, weapons, ammunition and patrol equipment to DNPW as well as  five newly constructed bridges to the Ntambu Royal Establishment.   The Trident Foundation has invested over $1 million in wildlife and conservation activities around the Trident Project site and the WLMA since 2014.

The project has primarily focused on supporting conservation activities on the ground including recruiting, training, equipping and paying village scouts, infrastructure development and implementing conservation related livelihood programmes within the communities.

“This will see improved access and networking in the game management areas thereby promoting tourism and resources not only in the operational areas but North-Western Province as a whole,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the DNPW, conservation and management director Andrew Chomba said: “You may be aware, some of the major challenges faced by the department countrywide is the lack of equipment and poor infrastructure which, if available, are essential in protecting wildlife from the growing threat of illegal poaching and wildlife trade.”


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