Department of National Parks and Wildlife has embarked on sensitisation meetings on nutrition and HIV messages to nine traditional authorities surrounding Kasungu National Park.
The department’s senior parks and wildlife officer Catherine Chunga said in an interview that they expect communities to use the messages to avoid contracting the virus that causes Aids.
She said: “There are several messages we deliver to communities we work with in Kasungu, but we decided to include HIV and nutritional messages because a lot of tourists will be visiting their villages to watch their traditional dances in the upcoming tourism project.
“Therefore, the awareness is meant to warn them against engaging in risky behaviour.”
Kasungu Wildlife Conservation for Community Development Association chairperson Siwinda Chimowa welcomed the tourism project.
“We are pleased with the project as it will bring money to communities in a number of ways,” he said.
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife in January signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with communities around Kasungu National Park through which they outlined that they will be getting 25 percent of the income generated by the park.
The initiative is part of the African Development Bank’s Promoting Investment and Competitiveness in Tourism Sector project that government is implementing in the district through the department.