Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka on Tuesday handed over a K65 million solar powered electric fence to communities around Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve that is aimed at reducing human and wildlife conflict emanating from elephants and hippos in the area.
Msaka warned the people against vandalizing the fence saying government has spent resources on it to protect their lives and property.
“While we are protecting your lives and property, the fence will also protect wildlife which in turn benefits you also through tourism. I am informed that you do get a share of the proceeds from tourism too. So, let us agree here that you will treat as an enemy anybody found vandalizing the fence,” said Msaka at Thunduwike Primary School in the area of Senior Chief Mpherembe where he handed over the fence.
Mpherembe thanked government for constructing the 42 km electric fence saying it would restrain elephants and hippos from attacking his people and their property. The fence has been constructed with funds from Global Environmental Facility through the Nyika Transfrontier Conservation Area.
Mpherembe called on his group village headmen and village headmen to see to it that nobody vandalizes the fence. He also asked government to further construct the fence to a 20 km stretch that was remaining.
Earlier in the day, Msaka presided over the pass out parade for 30 parks and wildlife officers in Vwaza Marsh Reserve. He challenged the recruits, both from Zambia and Malawi, to leave a legacy of protecting wildlife.
“You must be the best wildlife protection officers we have had. Each one of you should strive to do that. There is no point in doing a job that you do not like. I challenge you every single day of your life, leave a legacy by following rules and regulations you have to protect wildlife,” said Msaka adding “never do this job unless you have love for wildlife.”
Msaka was also familiarizing himself with Vwaza Marsh Reserve since the department of parks and wildlife was detached from Information, Tourism, Parks and Wildlife to the Ministry of Natural Resources.
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