from ESTHER SHAVI in Kariba, Zimbabwe
KARIBA, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWEAN women are making inroads into the male-dominated wildlife conservation space.
Recently, two females were among 15 individuals drawn from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) and Zimbabwe National Army ZNA who participated at a Course Pass-out Parade in Kariba.
Fulton Upenyu Mangwanya, Zimparks Director General, applauded them.
“I am pleased to inform you that these trainings have continued to recognise the importance and capabilities of a girl,” Arthur Musakwa, his representative said.
Musakwa is the Zimparks Director of Operations.
“I applaud the ladies for continuing to defy the odds and for showing the world that female rangers are able to even out compete their male counterparts by participating in more risk tasks such as operating in Lake Kariba and other water bodies.”
The 12 rangers from Zimparks (including the two women) and three personnel from the ZNA boat squadron regiment were equipped with knowledge on conservational ecology, boat operations, handling of suspects, observing human rights in anti-poaching work, weapon handling and other issues critical for river related patrols.
The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) funded the three-week advanced coxswain training in partnership with Zimparks and ZNA.
It enhances the first one done in 2021, which saw trainees completing a seven-week course on skills required when conducting river patrols.
The advanced coxswain training and other training on the use of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) initiative have been critical in areas like trans-boundary joint river patrols by Zambian and Zimbabwean law enforcement agents to conserve species.
Olivia Mufute, AWF country director, said concerted efforts from all stakeholders in the conservation space would be crucial in preserving wildlife and flora.
“Our strategies for conservation bridge science, on-the-ground solutions, policy, and education,” she said.
– CAJ News