The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) is appalled at the level of dishonesty by some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the industry, which go to the extreme of claiming credit for works they did not do in their quest to appease donors.

ZAWA last week collaborated with Green Rural African Development (GRAD) to put up a colourful conservation and education awareness initiative and fun day for kids in commemoration of World Lion Day.

Surprisingly, ALERT, a local NGO and its sister organisation, Lion Encounter through an article they posted on their website made false claims and gave the impression that they were behind the organisation of the event when in fact they were not.

This may seem immaterial at glance. However, it is important to note that the organising phase of the event was met with so much apathy and lack of interest from certain individuals and Alert, which is now claiming to have spearheaded it. It also speaks volumes about the credibility and calibre of such organisations.

For them to want to claim credit for the occasion after it turned out to be a success is completely outrageous, unfair and disrespectful to the real organisers and contributors, especially GRAD, which was the major sponsor. Other contributors included Stanbic, Tongabezi, Game Rangers International, Grassroots Trust, Ranan Trading and the Livingstone Majorettes.

ZAWA would like to warn that the Wildlife industry and Zambia as a whole is not a playground for NGOs seeking to fulfil selfish motives, or those which are only interested in amassing personal wealth from well-wishers.

The industry has for a long time been subject to such shameless exploitation, and this shall not be tolerated. ZAWA is always happy to give credit to deserving partners. But any attempts by some organisations to reap where they did not sow shall not be allowed to continue.

The Authority is also very keen to partner with organisations that are honest, fair and with a genuine desire and passion for conservation of the country’s wildlife and natural resources. This is critical for the benefit of communities, not only locally, but across continents.

ZAWA understands that Zambia and Africa in general holds the last hope for the preservation and sustainability of our environment, wildlife and natural resource. The entire human species depends on the preservation and conservation of this limited resource for survival.

Therefore, institutions such as ZAWA, which are mandated to manage this resource locally shall not tolerate malicious individuals masquerading as interested stakeholders in environmental protection and natural resource management. There’s need for serious screening of NGOs to sieve out the fluff.

Article by: The Zambia Wildlife Authority