By Golden Kang’oma MANA

Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Vera Kamtukule on Friday commended efforts made by communities in Salima district aimed at enhancing environmental conservation whilst at the same time improving people’s livelihoods.

Kamtukule made the remarks in the area of Traditional Authority Chisamba, when she appreciated a project on Conservation of Natural Resources for Sustainable Economic Returns that empower the vulnerable to find pathways out of poverty.

She said that the project is helping a lot of vulnerable people and it will help the outlook of the community and attract more tourists.

“Am excited that the project is mostly being led by women, this is a great achievement. There is no project that can run without the community and this is why it is a success. I believe that the community will be able to sustain the project after it phases out,” She said.

Kamtukule further said it is unfortunate that people are depleting trees for charcoal, a move that is backstabbing environmental conservation.

“The communities are moving forward to conserve the environment but some people are in the forefront destructing it, this is very bad for the progress of the project and there is a need for more community awareness campaigns and together we can curb the malpractice,” she said.

Country Director for Tear Fund, Vincent Moyo said the progress of the project has been good, as it has empowered people in reclaiming their land, a move that has helped a lot of people to get more crop yield.

“We are very happy seeing government taking a lead in the project implementation, the project has helped to improve livelihoods of communities around here as well as wildlife conservation,” he said.

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