Kasungu National Park manager Petros Kachulu has commended Lilongwe Wildlife Trust for implementing a project that has reduced wildlife crimes in the park.
He said this on Wednesday during a District Council Executive Committee Meeting in the district.
Kachulu said the project has reduced poaching, encroachment and other crimes in the protected area by 29 percent in 2021.
“The project has improved community awareness and promoted community livelihoods through training people around the park in bee-keeping, which has diverted their attention from the park,” he said.
Kachulu also said the project has engaged primary and secondary school learners around the park on the need to protect wildlife and conserve natural resources.
In his presentation, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust environmental education manager Clement Manjaalera said they have reached out to thousands of people living around the park with different messages since 2016.
He said: “We have reached out to more than 10 000 people around the park in form of trainings, community engagements, awareness programmes, school learners and community member camping sessions.
“We also use the media to engage people in wildlife conservation issues.”
Rehabilitation of Kasungu National Park is underway by the Malawi Government, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, International Fund for Animal Welfare and Africa Development Bank as the park lost its glory due to heavy poaching and encroachment in the early 2000s.
Currently, the number of elephants in the park has increased from 55 to 140.
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust is implementing Protected Area Environmental Education Programme at the park.