I P A Manning is calling for a change in the way Zambia manages its wildlife and protected areas starting with some reforms for the seemingly hapless ZAWA. The problems highlighted are prevalent in many of Zambia's instutions and the solutions could well be the same:
The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), with one man at the helm with any experience and the qualifications to back it up, Dr Lewis Saiwana, is beyond repair, beyond reconstruction. That it has not even made the necessary pension contributions for its own staff is proof that it is time to call it a day. At HQ, ZAWA is a shambles, unable to pay consultants as promised, unable to administer the hunting industry and the quota system, unable to pay all the Community Resource Boards who are responsible for hiring village scouts, unable to answer a simple letter.
It is time for Government to accept that the management of protected areas and its wildlife, and the wildlife of customary areas, can no longer be run by a highly centralized statutory body with a weak supervisory board. It is time to put all National Parks and Forests out to public private partnerships, and in customary areas, to place the ownership of wildlife in the hands of development trusts which incorporate customary leaders, local councils, the villagers and NGOs.