Hunting and conservation in Kasempa District of North-Western Province of Zambia, 1934-1994
Kamwengo, Chikosa Langson
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The central theme of this study is to highlight the failure of game laws in both the colonial and post-colonial governments in conserving game in Kasempa District from 1934 to 1994. The study shows that because the Kaonde area had no cattle and lacked sufficient fish resources, hunting of game was a an important form of food production in the ecosystem. Since hunting was engaged on a subsistence scale, it had little impact on the populations of game.The introduction of colonial game laws in the district restricted the hunting of game by the local people. The study shows that when the restriction of the local-people from the game resource was evident, the only way people in the district could gain any benefits from game was by illegal hunting. Overall, state intervention in game conservation failed in Kasempa District during the colonial period because the local people were not part and parcel of the game conservation strategy devised and enforced by the colonial authorities in the area.The study also demonstrates that the establishment of game sanctuaries and the enforcement of the game conservation laws allowed large tracts of land which were not cultivated to revert to bush. This attracted tsetse fly which increased the incidence of trypanosomiasis among cattle and sleeping sickness cases among humans in the area between 1942 to 1964.After the colonial period, law enforcement measures continued as an accepted attempt to deter poaching in the district. However, these measures did not end poaching in the district. The study shows that from the 1970s, poaching escalated in the district because of the financial incentives the Copperbelt towns offered to those involved in the activity. In 1987, a programme called Administrative Design for Game Management Areas (ADMADE) was started in the district with the purpose of restoring to the people their authority over game in the GMAS, and to use it wisely so as to reap benefits from it. Interestingly, ADMADE failed to preserve and conserve game because of poor management and misguided policies. The study emphasizes that ADMADE could only succeed if the whole society and not groups within the GMAS benefit from the organization's projects. Meanwhile, the problem of illegal hunting of game continued in the district.