From the Lusaka Times an article told us that ZAWA has been abolished and will be replaced by a Department within the Tourism Ministry.
Gill Comment: This has been on the cards for a long time. ZAWA was, I think, a European initiative. It didn’t work right from the start. It was far too overloaded by bureaucrats sitting in offices when what we needed was ‘boots on the ground’. The prices of access to the parks increased as the Authority needed more and more money to keep it afloat. It often seemed to me that ZAWA was more interested in the income it could earn than the conservation of the parks. Now that the administration of the parks is within the Ministry of Tourism, we can expect the government to assist in the finances of them. And, this is absolutely essential.
We have 20 parks many of which are almost abandoned because they cannot earn an income; the wildlife depleted and the trees burned in bushfires or cut for charcoal. The only parks which are not ‘defunct’ or ‘almost defunct’, are those which are run by a public-private partnerships. If the Ministry of Tourism takes this idea on board many of our parks can be saved from disaster. The parks are essential for our environment, keeping our wildlife and diversity safe. If managed properly they can earn an income for the government through tourism and provide much-needed employment. They are also some of the most beautiful parks in Africa …
Source : The Livingstone Weekly
By : Gill Staden
23 March 2015