The Zambian government has approved three bills, as it moves to reduce the hippo population along the Luangwa River, following environmental damage as a result of pressure on the land.

The 270km area along Luangwa River has a population of 13,000 hippos. The optimum figure is 9,000.

Chief government spokesperson, Dora Siliya said the three bills – the Statistics Bill 2018, the Border Management and Trade Facilitation Bill 2018 and the Constituency Development Fund Bill 2018 – have been approved for publication and introduction in the current sitting of parliament.

The area along Luangwa River has 4,000 more hippos than it can sustain

Siliya said that country’s cabinet had upheld the contract with the now defunct Zambia Wildlife Authority and Mabwe Adventures Limited on hippo culling along the Luangwa River.

“This has caused considerable damage to the environment, river banks and continues to threaten the sustainability of the river system,” she said.

Siliya said the introduction of the Statistics Bill 2018 would provide for the establishment of an integrated National Statistical System that would ensure best practice of collection of statistics as well as credibility of statistics through an Independent Statistical Agency.

“The Border Management and Trade Facilitation Bill 2018 aims at providing for coordinated border management and control for the efficient movement and clearance of goods. Cabinet feels enacting the Constituency Development Fund Bill will ensure accountability by providing for mechanisms of disbursing funds to constituencies.”