Further to our August report, the situation in Chiredzi River Conservancy is worsening and elephants are now faced with imminent extinction as land invaders continue to ravage the conservancy and government officials watch without intervening.
The Chiredzi River Conservancy, part of the Trans Frontier Conservation Area, is an internationally renowned wildlife conservancy in the South Eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe. It is being overrun by destructive invaders and its elephant and wildlife population is in severe danger of being wiped out. Reports indicate that the destruction of its fragile ecosystem has reached such serious proportions that its very survival is under threat. Appeals for the government to intervene before the destruction of the environment in the conservancy, and in all areas of Zimbabwe becomes irreversible, are falling on deaf ears.
The conservancy is situated in an area classified as Region 5, meaning that it is arid and unsuitable for agriculture. Despite this, invaders have destroyed large areas by burning tress and vegetation in their effforts to grow crops and graze their cattle. Although there is funding available to help them move to areas more suitable for farming, the government turns a blind eye to the problem. Game scouts are employed to patrol the area but their jobs are extremely dangerous and they live under constant threat from poachers, politicians and invaders. They are continually assaulted and abused.
In an effort to protect the elephants, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Francis Nhema was approached and asked if the elephants could be moved to a safer area but he was adamant that they stay in the conservancy. Whilst he acknowledged that the invaders were there illegally, he has made no attempt to have them removed. More....