The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has received a new Savannah aircraft which the ministry says will help in the fight against poaching at Nyika National Park.
On Monday, Peace Parks presented Malawi’s Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Honourable Bintony Kutsaira with the new Savannah aircraft.
The handover ceremony was held at the Kazuni Airstrip in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve.
Peace Parks also provided the required resources to train a pilot which will create in-house aerial surveillance capacity.
The recently trained Malawi pilot, Dines Kabota, performed a test flight to demonstrate the capabilities of this light sport aircraft that will aid in anti-poaching patrols as well as day-to-day conservation management.
In Nyika National Park, Malawi – through continued support from Peace Parks Foundation – ranger deployments, arrests and weapon confiscations have increased by more than 60% over the past two years.
Now, wildlife criminals operating in Nyika and the neighbouring Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve have nowhere to hide as anti-poaching ranger forces will be able to protect these conservation areas on foot and from the air.
Peace Parks is supporting the Department of National Parks and Wildlife with the management of Nyika and Vwaza as part of the Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area.
In order to boost protection capacity Peace Parks has, over the years, also supported ongoing ranger training as well as the installation of a new radio communication network that covers all camps in Nyika and Vwaza.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Kutsaira thanked Peace Parks for the donation and said the aircraft will assist in the fight against poaching.
Werner Myburgh, Peace Parks CEO, said it is vital to protect and build the wildlife product in these conservation areas to promote tourism which will ensure the sustainability of the parks in the long-term.
The ceremony was attended by various dignitaries such as Mr Patrick Matanda the Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining as well as Senior Chief Mpherembe and various representatives from the local communities and other officials.