$26k boost for anti-poaching activities
HOTEL and tour operator-Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) has raised $26 000 for use in anti-poaching activities in Victoria Falls.
The initiative is aimed at wildlife conservation in the country’s prime resort town to preserve the environment as natural as possible by protecting wildlife to continue luring tourists.
Victoria Falls is situated within Zambezi National Park, while Chamabondo National Park, Fuller Forest, Ngamo Forests and others are prime wildlife areas that generate considerable revenue through game drives.
The money was raised through a golf tournament organised by AAT in Harare recently and has been handed over to Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU).
AAT chief executive Mr Ross Kennedy said all the $26 300 raised from the golf tournament will go towards anti-poaching.
“Once again the spirit and commitment of Zimbabweans was on show when a sum of $26 300 was raised. We’re overwhelmed by this show of care in this challenging economic environment with so many demands on business and community as well as concern and shared commitment to anti-poaching and conservation,” Mr Kennedy said.
He said besides cash, 17 two-plate gas stoves and cylinders and engine oil were also donated to VFAPU for use by rangers while on patrol.
VFAPU works in partnership with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and police in fighting poaching.
VFAPU head of operations Mr Charles Brightman said the funds will be channeled towards operational costs.
“I would like to thank everyone involved. It is tremendous to see so much support for such an important cause. The funds will go towards the operational costs of the unit where $7 500 is needed per month for salaries, fuel and vehicle maintenance,” he said.
VFAPU has 17 scouts who patrol game parks around the resort town to quell poaching.
The unit arrested nearly 700 poachers since its establishment in 1999.
It has removed more than 22 000 wire snares and rescued 183 injured mammals from snares, some of which have been rehabilitated and sent back into the jungle while some are tourist attractions in captive cages.
The donation comes at a time when efforts are being made to fight rampant poaching of elephants, lions, vultures, hippos and others. — @ncubeleon