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Pomp and ceremony at KAZA event

Pomp and ceremony at KAZA event

Pomp and ceremony at KAZA event

A beautiful May day at Mwandi brought people from the Simalaha flood plains in both Sekute and InyamboYeta chiefdoms to a day of celebration at Mwandi High School.

Twenty-two community wildlife scouts changed status from trainees to fully-fledged field rangers when officers from Chunga Training College performed a passing out parade in front of the deputy minister, senior government officials, two chiefs and their senior advisors. The trainees had received three months of training at Chunga College which is run by Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA).

The brass band of 5 Zambia Regiment thrilled the crowd with military colours and sounds before Deputy Minister (Tourism and Arts), the Hon L. Evans, took the salute from the senior training officer of the college and carried out an inspection of the newly-trained scouts.

He commended the two chiefdoms and ZWA for their pioneering joint venture to establish a community-owned and managed wildlife conservancy. He also thanked the Peace Parks Foundation for their support of the conservancy project, which will uplift the lives of rural communities living on the Simalaha flood plains.

Induna Anasambala spoke on behalf of the communities of both chiefdoms and thanked ZAWA and the Zambian government for their support for the community-driven project. On behalf of both chiefdoms, he also thanked the Deputy Minister for assisting to sponsor the passing out parade.

For the children of Mwandi High School this was a day to remember; many will now aspire to be game scouts and help take care of the newly-established wildlife sanctuary.

The scouts will work with Simalaha communities to protect wildlife in the conservancy, including impala and wildebeest which were re-introduced late last year.

District Commissioner for Mwandi, Ms Akufuna Chabi, gave closing remarks and assured the communities of both chiefdoms that the government of Zambia is fully in support of the ground-breaking conservancy.

More from this issue:
ZT17 (June 2014) - Main Menu
ZT17 (June 2014) - Full Content Listing

More on transfrontier parks from this issue of the Zambezi Traveller:
Towards one health
After the fences came down
Between man and nature
Solutions for conflict with lions
Pomp and ceremony at KAZA event
Tourism, beef or both?
Simalaha gains momentum
Looking to the future