Published in Zodiak Online on 31st March 2015

Written by Winstone Kaimira

556202461533c16857a46ed5bfb7c21c_LA wild life conservation organization has hailed the plan by the Malawi government to destroy four tons of ivory by fire saying this was a clear demonstration of commitment to dealing with elephant poaching for their tasks in protected nature reserves in the country.

President Peter Mutharika will lead in the destruction of the elephant tasks at a ceremony to take place on Thursday this week.

Speaking in an interview with Zodiak Online Monday spokesperson for the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust Clement Manjaalera observed that the country’s failure to control wildlife crime has led to serious loss of protected animal species.

He said it is high time Malawi begun to take strong measures of dealing with poaching.

“This shows that government is indeed tired and angry with smuggling of ivory, soon we shall be able to tighten security in all existing points of the country so as to completely stop ivory trafficking,” he said.

Meanwhile the trust has issued a petition endorsed by signatures by thousands of Malawians asking government to put in place strong measures of dealing with rampant wildlife crimes such as poaching, illegal cutting down of trees as well as wildlife trafficking.

According to Manjaalera the trust has also trained workers in the country’s national parks and airports in preventing wildlife trafficking through a project called ‘stop wildlife crime’.

The programme begun in October last year.

Parks and Wildlife officer responsible for education and extension at Liwonde National Park in Machinga district Alick Makanjira said on Monday the park continues registering a lot of poaching cases targeting big animal specials such as rhinos, elephants, buffaloes and water bucks.

These are rare animals hardily found worldwide.

However Makanjira said the park has intensified patrolling exercises to deal with the malpractice which have resulted into arrests of 32 suspected poachers in the past two weeks.

The influx of the Chinese in Malawi has seen a corresponding rise in the felling of trees and poaching for ivory