Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) anti-poaching activities have received a major boost with the procurement of three patrol boats under a one-million-Euro Covid-19 Emergency Response Package from the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Zimbabwe.
The three motorized patrol boats, which were manufactured locally, were handed over to ZimParks at a ceremony held on the 28th of April at Tshabalala Sanctuary in Bulawayo. The boats will be deployed to Binga, Kariba, and Chete in a move set to bolster wildlife law enforcement efforts in the Zambezi Valley of the Zimbabwean component of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA).
Addressing guests during the handover event, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Honorable Barbara Rwodzi, commended the Federal Republic of Germany for its long-standing support to KAZA.
“It is my hope that these boats and other equipment we already received will be put to good use in the protection of our shared natural resources. As Zimbabwe we are indebted to the government of the Republic of Germany for their continued support in protecting our natural resources and improving the livelihoods of our communities living with wildlife. It is our prayer that the fountain from where this assistance was derived never dries,” said Minister Rwodzi.
KAZA Secretariat Programme Manager, Netsai Bollmann highlighted the positive impact of Covid-19 relief support from Federal Republic of Germany in mitigating negative repercussions of the global pandemic.
“Apportioning of EUR1 million of the covid relief support from the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Zimbabwe provided critical support to several positive development efforts to support biodiversity conservation, park management and human wildlife conflict, including the procurement of boats being handed over today. Under the relief support, multiple activities are being also being implemented to ensure that the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on the livelihoods of communities and the country’s biological heritage are minimized,” said Bollmann.
The Mission of KAZA is to sustainably manage the Kavango Zambezi ecosystem, its heritage and cultural resources based on the best conservation and tourism models towards the socio-economic wellbeing of the communities and other stakeholders in and around the eco-region through the harmonization of policies, strategies, and practices
To operationalize actions towards this mission, the KAZA Master IDP and the Zimbabwe IDP both set out priorities that revolve around challenges and opportunities related to natural resources management, human wildlife conflict, integrated land use planning, community development, tourism, and infrastructure development.
Over the years, and to different degrees, all these priorities have received attention, and this has largely happened within the framework of regional cooperation between SADC and the Federal Republic of Germany. The support from the Federal Republic of Germany through the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and KfW, has been and continues to be implemented over three phases, with a cumulative total value of EUR 35.5 million towards the establishment and continued development of KAZA.