“Forming a conservancy will bring about development in our area. I feel good because I am now working, and I believe I’m making a difference for the environment and improving my livelihood.” Says Kachana Mukushi, Game Guard, Lake Lyambezi Conservancy Zambezi region.
Lake Lyambezi is an emerging conservancy and therefore do not make an income of their own. Currently the game guards are being supported by Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC). There are currently ten game guards and Kachana is one of them. They received uniforms, tents, binoculars, bicycles and smartphones from IRDNC to assist them with their duties.
Before the formation of the conservancy poaching was high. It is currently reducing and if people want to poach, they usually think twice because game guards are always patrolling. There has been a decrease in poaching and an increase in wildlife. The awareness raising activities are effective.
Some people were against the formation of the conservancy and surprisingly enough the buffalos that were causing human wildlife conflict seemed to only attack their fields, we told them there is nothing we can do now because we are not yet a conservancy. They then saw the importance of having a conservancy. Once people in the area know the importance and benefits of forming a conservancy, we will be able to better manage our resources.
With COVID-19, the game guards managed to continue working as normal and conducting patrols. From January to June 2020, there were 8 joint anti-poaching patrols with a total of 48 days and 180 days of regular patrols.
"My message of hope to people is that, do not lose hope, we are still working and taking care of our natural resources in our community."