The perilous 1,000-mile journey to save Africa’s endangered black rhinos
28 October 2022
In 2012 the World Bank announced that all conditions had been met for it to release a Global Environmental Facility Trust Fund Grant to the value of $4.82 million to develop the Nyika TFCA between Malawi and Zambia.
In addition, co-financing commitments were secured from the Norwegian Embassy in Malawi, the governments of Malawi and Zambia, and Peace Parks Foundation for a total amount of $11.09 million over the next five years.
Implementation of the World Bank and Norway-funded projects are now under way and progressing well.
A distance of 240km of boundary was cleared around the Nyika National Park and various firebreaks made to regulate fire, with a burning programme now under way. A 35km road network in Vwaza Marsh Reserve was graded and a 35km of fence in Bambanda Zaro Sanctuary cleared, firebreaks made and burning completed. The office and five staff houses at Kazuni, and eight staff houses at Bambanda Zaro Sanctuary are being renovated.
Nine vehicles and 15 motorcycles were delivered to Malawi and three vehicles, one motorcycle and 35 bicycles to Zambia. Uniforms and patrolling equipment, i.e. tents, sleeping bags, rucksacks, handcuffs, binoculars and GPSs were delivered for 135 field rangers.
Terms of reference were drafted and advertised for a management plan for Nyika and Vwaza Marsh, a joint management plan, and a review of relevant legislation of each country.
KPMG was contracted to conduct external audits during the first three years of project implementation. A contract for an aerial wildlife census was also prepared and submitted to the World Bank for approval.
Furthermore, an integrated development process for the TFCA is under way. To this end, country-based stakeholder meetings were held in Chama and Rumphi at the end of June.
TOMPRO accounting software for Malawi and Sun accounting software for Zambia were installed and training in their uses conducted.
Last but not least, the Nyika-Vwaza Trust participation in the project is ongoing as per a memorandum of understanding signed between them and the Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife.