At Zambian Wildlife Warriors our mission is to conserve and protect the wildlife of Zambia. This, along with educating the public and our local communities on the importance of looking after our wildlife and its habitat are equally as important. This on a whole will ensure, that together we can keep our wildlife thriving for many years to come.
Our main goal is to reintroduce the rhino back into Zambia which is what we are striving towards.
Our team at ZWW is not just the founders and their families, it is the staff, volunteers, community, sponsors, partners and ambassadors that help this project stay afloat and continue to gain momentum. To them we say ‘thank you’ and we are forever grateful.
Together, WildArk, Zambian Wildlife Warriors and the Rufunsa Community have established the Rufunsa Rhino Conservancy to reintroduce game, assist in building an anti-poaching training, introduce a wildlife rehabilitation and reintroduction centre, conduct ecological research as well as provide job opportunities and education for the local community.
Founder of WildArk, Mark Hutchinson said, “Having visited the Lower Zambezi Valley many times, when we received the call from Luke and Jonas, we were excited to see what this project was about. After visiting the site with Jonas and meeting the Rufunsa Community in April of this year, it was clear how special this place is and what an amazing vision the project has. WildArk is thrilled to be part of the project and looks forward to building a long-term model with the community.”
You can find out more about WildArk and their rhino conservancy in Zambia at www.wildark.org/zambia
If you also would like to help our cause feel free to donate at www.wildark.org/donate
The Anti-Poaching unit is an integral part of our team as it will be responsible for the well-being of the wildlife in the conservancy, and that of our rehabilitation centre.
The rhino that we will be reintroducing into our conservancy will require around the clock protection. The Zambian government have strict laws on the protection of these animals and once we have them in our care, they state that we must have 3 rangers per animal released into the wild 24 hours a day! So, for us to achieve our goal of reintroduction of this amazing animal, we will be needing a minimum of 6 rangers on rotation, around the clock to ensure the safety of a pair of adult rhinos.
The unit will patrol the whole 29000ha conservancy.
Zambian Wildlife Warriors will also be aiming to have a mobile “rapid response’’ unit that we can dispatch at short notice to serve ZWW surrounds. Back at HQ we have a great training facility for specialist training in combat/tactical response with very stringent testing/training before we allow our rangers to enter the field.
There is daily P.T for all our staff and rangers both morning and afternoon to ensure peak physical fitness is kept.
Our rehabilitation centre is set up to cater for all types of wildlife, both large and small! This was put in place to house and care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife, the main cause of which is from direct human conflict and poaching. The wildlife will be cared for by staff and volunteers, with the animals that can be rehabilitated receiving quality care and enrichment before being released back into the wild. There will also be space allocated to house animals that may not be able to be released and those who need constant care.
ZWW’s main goal is to reintroduce, replenish and protect these locally extinct or critically endangered species back into the wild. To ensure the future of Zambian wildlife continues and thrives for years to come.
Rufunsa district has only one High school (Rufunsa Girls Technical High School. Most of the villages in the
Game Management Area don’t have any form of schools forcing children to grow up without any formal
education. Worse off the health facilities are accessed only at the district centre which has one health
Centre servicing the whole population. The people exposed more to danger are the pregnant women
Water is another source of concern. Rufunsa is naturally blessed with a lot of water springs forming small riveres and streams, however, fire and deforestation have destroyed this natural phenomenon making a lot of rivers and streams dry up. Encroachment of these important ecological zones through making of gardens and villages has equally destroyed sources of water. Women and children now have to walk over 15km to access water in nearby farms of shallow streams.
Rufunsa Game Management Area surrounded by 3 chiefs covering the 2 district administrative areas. The demographical properties of all these different chiefdoms are equal and with similar traditional norms. One of the similarities is the spaced villages which are all scattered in the game management area. This is so because of lack of any land use plan but also an institutional arrangement to assist in the management of natural resources.
Unemployment is one of the biggest factors that has led into poaching and unsustainable charcoal production. A lot of young men, old men alike find it easy to get into the protected area for poaching. This has resulted into wildlife expanding their territory moving far away from people but a lot of people have lost their lives from being killed by elephants and random patrol by the government rangers. Therefore community participation to conservation of wildlife and the whole natural resources is at its lowest.
Government has launched the 3 important pieces of law in the last six years namely; the Environmental Management act of 2011, The Forest Act of 2015 and the Wildlife Act of 2015. These new legislations all speaks about community participation in the management of natural resources and giving them more power of ownership, exploring partnership and establishing community natural resources parks like the community forest and community wildlife park for example.
Rufunsa game management area is located in Rufunsa district of Lusaka province. It is 150 km away from the capital city Lusaka city. Rufunsa Game Management Area one of the two Game Management Areas of the Lower Zambezi National Park. Rufunsa district was declared as a district in 2012 with an estimated population of 45,000 people. Main economic activities are subsistence farming, charcoal production (legal and illegal), and poaching.
Rufunsa Game Management Area covers 317,900 Ha. It stretches from Rufunsa district to Luangwa district on the east. The GMA is the largest from Chiawa GAM on the south though with declining wildlife population. This was once a safe haven of Black rhinos which are now extinct not only in Rufunsa but the whole country. Rufunsa GMA used to have and effective Community Resources Board (CRB) a local institution that used to administer wildlife management but due to lack of funding and hunting concession, the institution does not exist. The department of wildlife services and National Parks do not have sufficient human resources in form of wildlife officers to patrol the National park which is their full responsibility but also extending the service to the GMAs. This has robbed the local poor people with the natural resources needed for their social economic development. Due to lack few numbers of wildlife there fails to attract investors in tourism investments.
1. Inadequate Wildlife Police Officers for effective anti-poaching and wildlife management in the
Lower Zambezi NP with zero anti-poaching patrols in Rufunsa Game Management Area.
2. No Equipment and incentives for adequate and effective anti-poaching patrols and management.
3. National Park, Game management and Buffer zones boundaries not well demarcated.
4. Monitoring on vegetation, Cultural and historical, aerial and ground surveys have never been done in the area.
5. There are no fire management system.
6. There is no land use and management plan in Rufunsa Game Management Area.
7. Insufficient benefit to the local people for having a Natural Resource like the RGMA.
We will be taking expressions of interest for various roles in the project here at HQ. Roles will include but are not limited to:
Community education; teaching in our public education facility to help spread the awareness of the project to the greater community.
Working in the school; Formal education, setting up and implicating educational material, helping to teach local children about conservation and its importance.
If you are wanting to get in contact with us for any enquiries about our cause please feel free to email us.
Email: [email protected]
If would like to help our cause feel free to donate through the Rufunsa Rhino Conservancy Zambia page.