Crocodiles pose great danger, says Sinazongwe chief

THE Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DWNP) should find means of cropping crocodiles on Lake Kariba because the alligators have increased in number and are killing my people, Chief Sinazongwe has said.

The traditional leader said the reluctance by the department to address the situation despite constant reminders was annoying, saying the situation was getting out of hand as human and animal life had continued to be lost every year while no action had been taken.

He said his appeals to DWNP to either crop the beasts or engage crocodile farmers to relocate them from the lake to their private facilities had fallen on deaf ears, adding that a lot of animals were likely to be killed this year due to the dry spell that had characterised the previous rain season as the animals would be forced to ply the waters in search of green grass that grew near the shore.

He said most of the people in his chiefdom were farmers who depended on the lake for their livelihood through fishing and gardening but that their lives were at risk due to the number of crocodiles on the water body.

He lamented that it was sad the problem had been there even before the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) was transformed into a department but the situation remained unresolved yet, people and animals were being killed every year.

He appealed to the Ministry of Tourism to take keen interest in the matter and find ways of addressing the problem to safeguard human and animal life, saying just as there was need to preserve the crocodiles, animal life was also important.

“This problem started a long time ago and right now the situation is getting out of hand because the number of crocodiles is increasing every year but the department is not doing anything to safeguard the lives of the people and animals which we are losing every year. Crocodile management is very important here because this lake is the main source of livelihood for the people.

“This area is prone to droughts and most people depend on the lake for fishing as well as gardening on the shores of the lake but engaging in these activities is becoming a great risk because of the increase in the number of crocodiles.

We have appealed before, and we will continue appealing. Please, reduce the number of the crocodiles either by killing some of them or allow crocodile farmers to relocate some of them to their facilities because they are a danger to us,” Chief Sinazongwe said.

He accused the department of valuing animal life more than the lives of his subjects who were being attacked every year without realising that the people of Sinazongwe sacrificed their fertile soils to pave way for the construction of the dam for power generation.