The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has availed anti-poaching equipment to strengthen Zimbabwe’s operations in protected and communal areas of the mid-Zambezi Valley landscape.
AWF last week handed over ranger field equipment to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) and rural district councils.
The consignment, worth over US$33 000, comprises stretcher beds, overalls, military boots, berets, tents, raincoats, backpacks, mosquito nets, sleeping bags and other field work necessities.
According to AWF country director Olivia Mufute, the equipment will advance anti-poaching work, enhance patrol effectiveness, aid in deterring poachers and safeguard Zimbabwe’s wildlife heritage.
“The anti-poaching field equipment being handed over today will motivate the skilled rangers and scouts to carry out their duties diligently in a conducive environment,” she said.
“Rangers and scouts in protected and communal areas will be in a better position to deal with human-wildlife conflict issues, promote the peaceful co-existence of people and wildlife, strengthen their anti-poaching work, and contribute immensely to three key pillars namely leading for wildlife, caring for wildlife and living with wildlife.”
Mufute said the donation signalled AWF’s commitment to building strong partnerships with stakeholders towards wildlife conservation.
ZimParks board chairperson Agrippa Sora hailed AWF for the support rendered, adding that the gesture would assist rangers when they went out to conduct their anti-poaching patrols.
“This will go a long way in assisting our rangers when they go out especially this rainy season. They really need this equipment when they go out looking after our parks estates.
“They must be looked after very well so that they have the zeal and enthusiasm to continue doing their work. This is going to assist in ensuring that our key species will increase instead of decreasing,” he said.
ZimParks director-general Fulton Mangwanya said: “AWF is our all-weather friend in the landscape. They have made quite a lot of development in the mid-Zambezi Valley landscape. You can see all infrastructure development, the boats that we are using, even the vehicles and several other things.”
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