KASUNGU, Malawi 25th March, 2023 (AEJ) - International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) a global non-profit organization helping animals and people thrive together today reached out to communities whose houses collapsed last week on 16th March on the peripheral of Kasungu National Park with relief items worth MK5million.
IFAW is working in Kasungu, Lukusuzi and Luambe National Parks that lie on a common border with the Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife and the Zambian Wildlife Authority respectively.
According to IFAW the rich beauty of the landscapes and the even richer diversity of wildlife attract all kinds of conservationists, tourists including poachers. The three protected areas are home to hundreds of wildlife species including critically endangered animals like African wild dog. As such there is a need for sustainable management to combat wildlife crime collectively.
Speaking on the side lines of the handover ceremony of the relief items, Senior Chief Lukwa expressed gratitude to IFAW explaining the organization was a friend indeed as it has reacted quickly to the tragedy that affected families especially those at Chisiwiri village located in Kayesa area.
“I am more than happy that IFAW has come to the rescue of my subjects. Let me take this opportunity to advise my people to at least plant a tree around their houses. These trees will be able to protect us in our villages. Climate change is here, let’s ensure we protect ourselves from the devastating effects of natural disasters,” Lukwa said in an interview.
The items worth over MK5 million include flour, plastic sheeting, blankets, sugar, salt, soya pieces, buckets, plates, cups to help the victims bounce back to normalcy.
In his turn IFAW's Country Director for Malawi – Zambia Landscape Programme, Patricio Ndadzela explained that they got a call that one of the communities they work with has been affected by the cyclone.
“That was actually a call and despite not been in the humanitarian sector. We needed to be with the people in time of need. We conducted an assessment and found out that indeed a lot of people had been affected, 23 families which is close to 120 people in this village which is closer to Kasungu National Park,” said Ndadzela.
“We thought we can be with these people, give them relief items so that for some days they try to re-organise themselves because most of the houses have collapsed. Some people have been injured and it is a stressful situation. So, we thought that whatever little we have, we needed to share with the people in time of need. These are the communities we work with,” explained a concerned Ndadzela at the ceremony.
A veteran wildlife specialist who worked for both DNPW and African Parks, Ndadzela highlighted that the IFAW model was to work with local communities.
“We are looking at Kasungu National Park, as the source population where animals from Kasungu, are linked to those that are in Zambia. That is why we are promoting cross border landscape conservation. We believe there is a connectivity between Kasungu and all other parks in Zambia. So, we are actually looking at an integrated way of working with resources and the people,” he summed up.
IFAW is implementing the protecting Malawi -Zambia landscapes with Kasungu, Lukusizi and Luambe National Parks as habitats along the frontier of Malawi and Zambia.