By Lawrence Chilom
Chikwawa, Rangers at Lengwe National Park in Chikwawa District on Tuesday asked government to look into their welfare, saying they are facing a lot of challenges including poor housing.
The call was made when Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, Michael Usi, toured Lengwe National Park in the district.
Apart from poor housing, the park officers also said they have worked for a long period without promotion.
Speaking on behalf of fellow officers, Parks Assistant Shaibu Kadewele said they hoped the new administration would hear their concerns.
“We ask government to construct new houses for the staff because the houses we are currently living in are in poor condition.
“The other area to consider is promotion. It is quite sad that most of us have worked for a good number of years without being promoted. It is also our plea to government for the same,” said Kadewele.
He also emphasised on the need for government to recruit more rangers so as to beef up the manpower which will then be able to effectively manage the catchment area.
Minister responsible, Michael Usi, commended the staff for their efforts in protecting the environment.
Usi said he noted the concerns raised and that government would engage different stakeholders for support on the same.
“We have heard what you have said and as a ministry, we will talk to different organisations so that at least they can help us in that area, especially on the provision of better houses.
“Government is working hard to implement what we promised to Malawians in our campaign period,” said Usi.
The minister added that Lengwe National Park needs a clinic, saying workers cover long distance to get to the nearest health centre.
During his visit, the minister also received uniforms for the game rangers from Shire Valley Transformation Program (SVTP).