Kasanka Trust proudly announces the start of the project “Extension of Kasanka Management System to Lavushi Manda National Park”. This month Kasanka Trust and the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) signed the Memorandum of Understanding for co-management of Lavushi Manda National Park. With all requirements met the World Bank officially gave the project “go-ahead” on 18 April 2011.
The project is scheduled for 2011 to 2013 and aims to secure the ecological and socio-economic future of both Lavushi Manda and Kasanka National Park. This means protection against illegal poaching and deforestation including involving the surrounding communities in the conservation as well as presenting them with alternatives to poaching.
The World Bank is supporting Kasanka Trust to take a leading role in this project on the basis of its track record in Kasanka National Park where the Trust has developed and administered a successful public-private partnership with ZAWA for the past 20 years. This has helped the mammal populations to increase, surrounding communities to become involved in conservation, and tourists to enjoy the beauty of this park. By signing a similar agreement for Lavushi Manda National Park, Kasanka Trust and ZAWA hope to repeat this success.
Lavushi Manda National Park is scenically very beautiful but its wildlife is mostly depleted. Fortunately recent visits show there is still an excellent variety of large mammals present, albeit in small numbers. Among more than 40 mammal species recorded recently are Wild Dog, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Zebra, Roan, Sable, Waterbuck, Sitatunga and Hartebeest. It is expected that populations will recover if poaching is controlled.
With $835,000 from the Global Environmental Fund, through World Bank Zambia, and ZAWA pledging co-funding in the form of ten wildlife police officers based in Lavushi Manda National Park, the project can start. The Trust will construct roads, a management headquarters, basic tourism facilities, an airstrip and an education and outreach centre. It will train and equip wildlife police officers, procure a vehicle for law-enforcement operations and start up fire management and wildlife monitoring. More donations and suggestions for co-funding are much needed, among others to bring the law-enforcement to the desired level and to expand the community outreach program.