By Yankho Phiri
Kasungu, June 11, Mana: Ministry of Environment, Tourism, and Wildlife through the Department of National Parks and Wildlife says Kasungu National Park has registered over 100 percent increase in elephant population.
Speaking in Kasungu during a visit that the ministry’s Principal Secretary and other department officials paid on Wednesday, Director of Parks and Wildlife Brighton Kumchedwa said the population of elephants at Kasungu National Park has risen tremendously in the past four years.
“As you know that we are on our way of rehabilitating Kasungu National Park, we are very much excited to register over a hundred percent increase in elephant population,” he said.
The last count of elephants held at the park was in 2015 whereby it had only 50 elephants.
According to Kumchedwa the park has now over 130 elephants. He pointed out the joint operation agreement which the government of Malawi and Zambia signed in 2015 to be the main contributing factor for the increase.
“Since we signed an agreement of joint operations between us and the Department of National Parks in Zambia, we have noted a huge difference mostly with the numbers of wildlife.
This is so because the number of poachers who used to hunt our animals from the Zambian side are no longer entering the park,” said Kumchedwa.
In his remarks Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism, and Wildlife Isaac Katopola described the increase as a very good development to the ministry and the entire nation saying the lost glory of the national park has resurrected hence attracting tourists.
“In the early 90s we used to know Kasungu as one of the best national parks in this country but things turned to worse after being hit by poachers and animal migration from our side to Zambia, but now everything seems promising.
It is our hope that we will start receiving more tourist from within and outside the country which will give us more revenue,” he said.
Kasungu National Park is the second largest park in Malawi and was established in 1970 at the North West of Kasungu town which also shares an international boundary with Zambia.