By Collings Kalivute
African Parks (AP) has lamented illegal mining and charcoal burning as some of the challenges haunting wildlife conservation besides poaching in protected wildlife reserves in the country.
Park Manager for Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, David Nangoma says despite several interventions in conserving wildlife, illegal mining still remains a challenge citing the arrest of 1,450 illegal miners in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in 2022.
However, Nangoma said despite the challenges, the reserve realized about K13 million from tourists in 2022.
“Of course, we are facing a number of setbacks like illegal mining, poaching and charcoal burning. At the same time, we are happy that both local and international tourists are now visiting Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve as we have made about K13 million from tourists in 2022,” he said.
While acknowledging the challenge at hand, Nkhotakota District Commissioner Ben Matengeni Tohno said the council is collaboratively working with law enforcers to end the vice.
Tohno said the council is involving law enforcers to evict the illegal miners in the protected Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
“We commend African Parks for the efforts in conserving wildlife in Nkhotakota and the country at large. This is in line with the council’s vision to make Nkhotakota a tourism city,” Said Tohno.
On Thursday last week, African Parks (AP) held its first 2023 Joint Liaison Committee (JLC) meeting for Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Kasungu where various stakeholders were in attendance and elected Inkosi Khosolo as its board chairperson.
JLC is a meeting for African Parks (AP) and its strategic Stakeholders that gives a platform for AP to report implementation progress, reflect on challenges experienced and consult on possible solutions besides sharing its yearly strategic targets.