Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) has improved its operations through the assistance from its partners under the Hwange-Sanyati Biological Corridor Project.

The $5.6 million financial package spread over five years is from the World Bank while the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is chipping in with $2.5 million for three years.

This came out at a wildlife conservation meeting hosted by Zimparks at Hwange National Park.

Some of the areas which have received assistance are anti-poaching, communication, game water supply and fire management.

Zimparks has reported a massive reduction in poaching incidents since this partnership and Hwange National Park has transformed 50 of its diesel engine water supply systems to solar.

Zimparks regional manager western region, Mr Samson Chibaya confirmed there has also been an improvement in the communication system through provision of high tech equipment by WWF as well as fuel supply for roads and fireguard management.

“We have seen some improvement, we are now able to access the areas that we have not been able to access previously because of difficulties. This has seen us opening up new roads through their support. We have also been able to make follow ups because we received a brand new Land Cruiser to assist in terms of getting to reach out to areas that are in accessible using vehicles that are two wheel drive,” he said.

WWF country director, Dr Enos Shumba said their support also extends to mitigation of the human wildlife conflict as well as the conservation of bio-diversity to boost tourist arrivals in parks areas.

“The idea is we want to create a healthy ecosystem for the park, once we have a healthy ecosystem you have more bio-diversity and when i came out we were talking about tourist arrivals so the whole idea is once everything is healthy and everything is working we need to have more tourists coming and we need to make more money for the park,” he explained.

The one day workshop was aimed at reviewing the progress of various programmes funded through the Hwange-Sanyati Biological Corridor Project by the WWF.