Malawi declares war on game poacher, wildlife illegal dealers

Originally published in Nyasa Times on 9th November 2015

 

556202461533c16857a46ed5bfb7c21c_LMalawi Government says it has hired 100 people in the ministry of Wildlife and Natural Resources to boost its personnel in the war against illegal game poaching and wildlife destruction.

Director of Wildlife Brighton Kunchedwa said some of the newly recruited staff will now be manning points of entry and exit of the country.

“This will be a new set up. They will be checking for the smuggling of ivory and other things,” said Kunchedwa.

There have been media reports in the past years of different Chinese people trying to smuggle ivory out of the country through Kamuzu International Airport.

Police have been arresting them and courts meting out sentences which some people feel have been lenient.

Kunchedwa said the department is now putting up final touches to a revised foreign policy which he said “will be the department’s guideline in protecting the country’s endangered wildlife.”

The director said the policy, which is to be out by February 2016, will take on board new emerging challenges like climate change as well as how floods affect the wildlife.

In addition, Kunchedwa said, the ministry legal team is working on new legislation for wildlife that will incorporate stiff punishment for poachers and smugglers.

President Peter Mutharika is personally leading a crusade to protect wildlife in the country and crash poachers and smugglers of wildlife, a move that has won him global recognition especially in the US.