Minister of Tourism, Rodney Sikumba

Government has disclosed that 26 wildlife officers were killed during the course of duty in 2022.

Rodney Sikumba says the officers have passed away owing to various reasons that include being killed by poachers and dangerous animals, diseases and of natural courses like illness due to change of environment.

Speaking in a speech read for him at the International World Rangers day in Lusaka by Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary Evans Muhanga, Mr Sikumba said among the 26 was the death of a Wildlife police officer Cosmas Ng’andwe who died from injuries sustained from gunshots after being bedridden for two years.

The Minister said many more officers have sustained injuries in the line of duty.

Meanwhile Mr Sikumba noted that the manpower of people taking care of unprotected areas is low but emphasized that the government is working to address the issue with cooperating partners.

Department and National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) Acting Director Andrew Chomba said 150 rangers are killed globally on the line of duty every year.

The theme for this year’s International World Rangers day is “30 by 30” emanating from the requirement set by the United Nations that 30 percent of the planet is effectively conserved and managed by 2030.