Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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German group to invest 13 mln US dollars in Zimbabwe park: report

German group to invest 13 mln US dollars in Zimbabwe park: report

Sep 13, 2011, 12:11 GMT

Harare – A German conservation group is investing 13 million US dollars into 
a major Zimbabwean wildlife park, which is battling poaching and land 
invaders, reports said Tuesday.

The Frankfurt Zoological Society handed over equipment including a plane, 
4×4 vehicles, radios, trucks, tractors and firefighting equipment, for use 
in Gona re Zhou National Park, said the official Herald newspaper.

‘We have invested a lot into the project and we have so far spent about 
three million US dollars and we will be spending a million dollars every 
year for the next 10 years,’ said Hugo van der Westhuizen, project leader of 
the FZS.

‘We want to make an impact in capacitating national parks to deal with 
poaching and several other problems,’ he said.

Gona re Zhou, which means ‘place of the elephants’ in the local Shona 
language, forms part of a giant trans-frontier conservation area together 
with parks in neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique.

The Zimbabwe side has been badly hit by poaching as well as land invaders on 
the back of President Robert Mugabe’s controversial policy of land seizures. 
Poachers killed seven elephants in the park in June.

The government has so far been unable to evict 1,000 families from the local 
Chitsa clan who invaded the park in 2003. The families, together with their 
cattle, have posed a threat to the wildlife in the area.


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