Authorities in Nkhotakota have bemoaned acts by some unknown assailants who continuously vandalize security systems that have been placed in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting on Thursday in Nkhotakota, Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve Parks Manager, David Nangoma, said the acts have negatively affected the routine monitoring of wildlife within the wildlife reserve.
“We have got a monitoring programme in place within the park which is meant to help and guide in managing wildlife.
“As we need to know the population sizes, we brought in some new species, so we put in place security cameras to help us monitor how those species are faring,” said Nangoma.
The park manager further expressed sadness with poachers who enter the wildlife reserve illegally and vandalise the cameras thinking the gadgets are placed there to catch them.
Nangoma also revealed that his department has confiscated a number of weapons, including snares, guns and ammunition from the poachers which, he said, pose a very big problem in protecting the wildlife protected area.
In his remarks, Nkhotakota District Council Chairperson, Councilor Charles Chizukuzuku, lamented the said malpractices, saying it was time for swift interventions from all stakeholders against the acts.
“It is pathetic that people who are involved in various barbaric acts are from around the district that connive with others to continue vandalizing things around them by burning charcoal and indulging in illegal mining in the forest reserve. This must stop forthwith,” said Chizukuzuku.
In a recent operation, police arrested some community members around Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve for being found in the reserve conducting illegal activities such as gold mining, charcoal burning as well as poaching for survival.
By Wongani Mkandawire & Fletcher Chiponda