Vandalism of game reserves fences worries Ministry of Natural Resources

The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment has expressed great concern over acts of vandalism where communities damage fences of game reserves and national parks across the country.

In an interview with the Malawi News Agency (MANA) Friday, The Ministry’s spokesperson Sangwani Phiri said despite the exclusive exercise that the government has been doing to protect Game Reserves as well as National Parks, the local community members have indiscriminately vandalized the fences citing the recent catastrophe of three lions escaping from Nkhotakota Game Reserve.

“This is the biggest challenge we face as a ministry. There have been these havoc attacks on game reserve’s wire, they steal to make snares. Vwaza Game Reserve in Rumphi and Liwonde National Park are greatly affected by these negative acts,” Phiri said.

According to Phiri, for years now, government has been involved in an expensive exercise of eracting a solar powered electric fence around most game reserves across the country especially where game reserves border with local communities.

He added that government periodically undertakes to avert escapes by game from these protected reserves which communities abort by cutting and stealing the wire for snaring.

“Government erects the wires to prevent such dangerous scenarios of animals escaping from protected reserves as what has just happened in the western part of the Nkhotakota Game Reserve letting the three lions which are now reportedly seen around Lisasadzi area in the district,” Phiri highlighted.

He urged Malawians to desist from such acts of vandalism saying Malawi Police Service and village vigilantes are conducting surveillance exercises in order to apprehend the three lions that are still on the loose.

Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA