Home » Governance » Campfire Needs to Be Strengthened, Says VP

Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has called for the strengthening of the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) to improve livelihoods and eradicate poverty.

Speaking at the launch of the Hwange Sanyathi Biological corridor project last Friday, VP Mphoko said CAMPFIRE should not depend on wildlife alone, but diversity and include other natural resources for income generation.

He said Campfire should improve the living standards of communities and be an incentive for community participation in managing natural resources.

He said the thrust of such programmes should be to eradicate poverty in line with Zim-Asset which calls for the sustainable utilisation of natural resources and human development.

VP Mphoko said Government recognised the importance of natural resources, but was worried by the increasing conflict between humans and wildlife, land degradation, inadequate water supplies and lack of institutional capacities to address environmental issues.

To address some of the challenges, Government had secured a $5,6 million grant from the Global Environmental Facility through the World Bank to fund the Hwange Sanyathi Biological Corridor project, he said.

“The World Wide Fund for Nature is supporting Government in implementing this important project,” he said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere said people in communities around national parks should benefit from the natural resources.

He said sanctions imposed by the West on Zimbabwe had affected the operations at national parks.

“Hwange national park has a carrying capacity of 12 000 elephants, but currently has 53 000 and this has increased human-wildlife conflict,” he said.

“We carry out controlled sales of wildlife. Hunting is sanctioned but we have been barred from selling ivory.”

Cde Kasukuwere criticised conservationist Mr Johnny Rodrigues who has campaigned against Government sales of live elephants as a way of controlling the ballooning population.

“What does he tell us about conservation?” he said.

“He is a mere truck driver. We need to support our communities and live sales are one of the options.

“We have to find ways of looking after communities and selling live elephants is part and parcel of sustainable management.”

Source : The Herald