China’s Hytera backs ZimParks to improve staff safety
Chinese technology firm Hytera Communications has partnered with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) to improve the safety of park rangers and reduce wildlife poaching.
The two parties teamed up to build a communication and dispatch system, which enable staff to interface efficiently across the sprawling parks.
Hytera also provided rangers with advanced Digital Mobile Radios and dispatching software.
ZimParks manages approximately five million hectares of land, and from 2020 to 2021, there was widespread poaching in the parks due to the pandemic-impaired local economy and an absence of international tourists.
Also, wildlife-human conflicts were on the increase. In 2020, ZimParks says it recorded more than 50 injuries and 60 deaths due to growing wildlife-human conflicts.
To better equip its staff, ZimParks teamed up with Hytera to build a communication and dispatch system that allows the staff to be mobilised effectively across the parks.
The companies claim that as a result of the partnership, Zimbabwe recorded a decline in wildlife poaching in 2022.
“We have rangers doing their jobs very effectively on the ground. They are our boots on the ground. But they face challenges as they do their work; poachers want to injure and kill them, as do the animals they are protecting. So, the best way for us to help the first line of defence effectively is to provide effective communication. As GSM coverage is not available in all the parks, radio communication is essential in helping protect wildlife and tackle law enforcement issues,” said Dr Fulton Mangwanya, director general, ZimParks.
Mark Zheng, director of Hytera Southern Africa, commented on the partnership: “We are committed to supporting ZimParks’ efforts to tackle poaching and enhance the safety of rangers.
"Wildlife conservation is crucial to a sustainable future, and we are glad that our radios are making a contribution to this. We wish ZimParks all the best in their ongoing efforts to protect wild animals and will continue to work with them closely”.