Government launches conservation awareness program
Harare – The Zimbabwe government will soon launch a campaign to raise awareness on conservation in schools to increase knowledge of pupils on the different wild animals, particularly the Big Five.
In a speech read on her behalf by permanent secretary Prince Mupazviriho, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said two Zimbabwean celebrities, musician Selmor Mtukudzi and fashion artist Thembani Mubochwa would lead the campaign.
Mubochwa, the director of Afro Jumbo Trust, designed the Elephant Dress which has been showcased on different platforms, including the recently held Convention on the International Treaty on Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna CoP 17 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
His organization mainly focuses on raising awareness to assist in addressing issues related to local elephant populations, especially among children and youth, through various activities as well as fundraise for elephant conversation.
“Thembani has partnered with a well-known musician, Selmor Mtukudzi to spread the message to the young generation through various initiatives. Firstly, there is a proposed National Schools Tour which the two will be embarking on in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority with the endorsement of my Ministry and that of Primary and Secondary Education,” said Muchinguri-Kashiri.
“This will commence during the first term of 2017 with the objective of educating school children on conservation matters while increasing their knowledge of different animals around them especially the Big Five,” she said.
“Particular focus will be placed on the elephant, which as you might know, its conservation leads to the conservation of other species of wildlife. Elephant fact sheets will be distributed to schools, designed in a fun and informative poster giving children a summary of information they need to know about elephants and a teacher’s guide with wildlife conservation material will also be distributed to schools to ensure that wildlife conservation will be taught in schools,” she said.
Muchinguri-Kashiri said it was envisaged that pupils would be encouraged to harness their own talents in areas such as music, art, crafts, acting, writing and speaking to create awareness in their homes, schools and communities,” she said.
“The tour plans on establishing Junior Rangers through clubs set up in schools. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority Extension and Interpretation Department will hold training sessions for teachers whilst Afro Jumbo Trust will facilitate the design and production of the Junior Rangers uniforms,” she said.
She said the initiative was set to greatly enhance awareness drive within and outside the borders of Zimbabwe calling on the private and public sector to partner the government for the good of conservation.