NCF Engages Women, Hunters On Kainji Lake Park Protection

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The environmental Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has engaged women and hunters’ groups within the neighbourhood of the Kainji Lake National Park in Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State, North-Central Nigeria, on wildlife protection.

The NCF Project Coordinator in the state, Dr. Stella Egbe, said that the one-day engagement session held at Borgu Youth Hall, New Bussa, was to create awareness among the park users for its conservation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NGO focuses on preservation of natural resources and biodiversity in the country.

It works in collaboration with International Union of Conservation of Nature Save Our Species, co-founded by the European Union (EU).

Egbe, who also doubles as the Senior Manager, Species Programme, NCF, said that the participants were women and hunters from Kainji, Wawa and Ibbi communities living around the park.

“The aim is to identify their challenges to come up with alternative sources of livelihood for them aside their dependency on the park that serves as our heritage and tourist sites.

“The major activities of people in these communities are farming, hunting, cutting of trees for firewood and cattle rearing which put pressure on the park and result in forest degradation,” Egbe said.

She explained that the park, which is 5,000 square kilometres in size, currently houses lions, leopards and other vital animal species.

According to her, encroachment and degradation on the park would result in loss of species.

“To conserve the lions, leopards and other species, we had to interact with members of the communities, especially the women and hunters, for an alternative means of livelihood to reduce conflict and dependency on the forest.

“We are not saying that the hunters should not hunt, but they should not hunt lions and leopards. They should also not hunt other species of animals that are pregnant or with babies,” she said.

The wife of the Conservator-General, National Park Service, Hajiya Saratu Goni, said that the interaction would enable the participants have alternative sources of livelihood for their sustainability.

The Park Conservator, Mr. Zanna Lawan, represented by the Park Warden, Mr. Usman Goni said that the programme would enable the NGO to carry out its mandate effectively.

He said that it would also help conservation, as those who engage in tree cutting for economic purposes and hunting of vital species of animals would have alternative sources of livelihood.

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