From Sheluzani Makhese in Chikombedzi, Zimbabwe
THE hostilities between one of Zimbabwe’s
iconic game parks and local communities are now a thing of the past
following an initiative the former has embarked on to take on board the
grievances faced by the locals.
Gonarezhou National Park has embarked on engaging with the community,
taking concerns from the local people.
The harmonious relation is under the theme, 'Mpfhuka', which means a
journey or pilgrimage, in the local Shangaan dialect.
“When embarking on a journey, there are challenges and problems that you
meet on the way. Also, the 'Mpfhuka' is not an easy journey but slowly
we will get there,” said Evious Mphofu, the senior area manager of
Officials said the high levels of subsistence poaching prompted the idea
“The mpfhuka is not only a journey that is going to benefit Gonarezhou
alone. Local people will also benefit through employment," said Elias
Livombo, community liaison officer.
Gonarezhou has created employment for an unspecified number of youths.
They are employed as game rangers while some are working at the
construction of the Runde causeway, now called Kwangulatilo Bridge.
“Most young men in the communities surrounding Gonarezhou are not well
educated. The creation of employment by Gonarezhou has given them a
vision in life and helped them to solve some of their financial
problems,” said engineer Matumba who is also working at the causeway
Gonarezhou has also introduced a training centre, which is a vocational
facility for the community.
The game park has also empowered some women who have since embarked on a
Gonarezhou helps market their products.
The Gonarezhou National Park is one of the iconic wilderness areas of
It boasts a diversity of landscapes, features and growing wildlife
– CAJ News