GOVERNMENT will release K 1 9 . 8 m i l l i o n o w e d t o communities in hunting areas, Minister of Tourism and Arts Ronald Chitotela has said. Mr Chitotela says Government is committed to releasing money to communities in hunting areas because they play a crucial role in tourism development. The minister said this yesterday when he held a meeting with six chiefs led by Senior Chief Luembe to discuss the welfare of communities in hunting zones. “True wildlife conservation for tourism development can only be achieved with the full involvement of members of the community,” Mr Chitotela said.
This is contained in a statement by Ministry of Tourism and Arts public relations officer Sakabilo Kalembwe. Mr Chitotela said Government values communities because they are anchors of sustainable wildlife conservation. The minister said communities also take care of animals and help conserve nature through prevention of agriculture practices which may disturb the ecosystem. And Chief Luembe said traditional leaders play a crucial role in preventing encroachment, poaching and activities which threaten wildlife.
“People do not want to move from fishing camps even during fishing ban and tend to resort to poaching, it’s the chiefs who have to push to control such situations,” he said. Meanwhile, Chieftainess Msoro said community scouts have shown commitment by patiently waiting for 19 months’ salary arrears. The traditional leader said when motivated, the scouts will work hard and contribute to Government’s quest to collect more revenue from the tourism sector. Others who attended the meeting are Chieftainess Muwezwa, Chieftainess Chiawa, Chieftainess Mpashya and Chief Mphuka