|German firm invests US$13m in Gonarezhou|
|Tuesday, 13 September 2011 00:00|
Isdore Guvamombe recently in Gonarezhou, Chiredzi
The investment comes in the wake of a general decline in conservation work due to funding constraints brought about by sanctions and the activities of internationally organised poaching syndicates that have threatened biodiversity in one of the world's largest wildlife sanctuaries over the years.
The society has so far bought and handed over to national parks a Cessna 185 aircraft worth US$100 000, a Bell Grader for US$260 000, Bell Backhoe for US$90 000 and a Mercedes-Benz truck for US$90 000.
It also bought four Toyota Landcruisers for US$140 000, two tractors worth US$60 000 and fuel storage tank for US$17 500, two trailers, firefighting equipment, two water bowsers and two land mowers.
The society has also renovated staff houses, vehicle workshop and offices at the national park for an amount in excess of US$150 000 and bought and repaired water pumps at a cost of US$8 000.
"The Gonarezhou Conservation Project is a 10-year partnership between the Government of Zimbabwe represented by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Frankfurt Zoological Society. It is for this reason that a project such as the Gonarezhou Conservation Project, which is a partnership between the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Frankfurt Zoological Society, is one strategy to build our capacity and capability.
"It is certainly my hope, after the project reaches its twilight period in 10 years' time, that the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority management in Gonarezhou National Park would be able to build their own capacity in conserving the park's biodiversity resources,'' said Minister Nhema.
"We are apolitical and we know that wildlife knows no sanctions. Of course, our government has questioned our motive but we convinced it that we had nothing to do with politics.
"After that we can renew our contract if we feel the department still needs us. We will leave everything behind when we eventually go but we want to make an impact in capacitating national parks to deal with poaching and several other problems it faces,'' he said.