Training at Lengwe National Park

Blantyre training group

Chikwawa, one of the seven districts in which WESM Blantyre operates, is home to Lengwe National Park. As a result of poverty, recent natural disasters (cyclones Gombe and Ana) and high illiteracy rates, human wildlife conflict is on the rise in Lengwe and little investment in environmental education is carried out around the reserve. The illegal harvesting of park resources has also been on the rise, particularly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is from this background that, this month, WESM Blantyre conducted training for Lengwe National
Park Education and Extension Workers. The training was aimed at refreshing and refocusing
environmental education and education for sustainable development approaches amongst park workers.

Ten officers, including one research officer and the park manager took part in the training, which included discussions on the status of the Malawi’s
environmental conservation efforts, environmental education principles and approaches, linking research findings and legislation to environmental education and how to develop vibrant alternative
livelihood activities. 

During the meetings, Mr. Walison Fixon, the park manager, confirmed the need for greater support for environmental education around Lengwe and for improving the livelihoods of vulnerable communities around the
park. He further alluded to the fact that many projects in Lengwe focus on issues inside the park yet there is also a lot of pressure from the people outside the park.

At the end of the training, WESM Blantyre Branch donated assorted environmental education
publications to the park to further support their environmental education activities.