The U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), supported the construction of a solar powered Mukungule Community Resource Board office in the Mukungule Game Management Area, located on the western boundary of the North Luangwa National Park. This is part of a $40 million (K800 million) conservation program, including $20 million (K400 million) from the U.S. government and $20 million (K400 million) from private sources, to help build resilient communities in seven Game Management Areas. The program introduces environmentally friendly livelihoods, improves health and education services, and helps local communities protect the environment from climate shocks and illegal activities like poaching and burning now and into the future.
The U.S. government invested three million kwacha for the office block which was built on land donated by Chief Mukungule and contains three offices, a board room, and a storage room. On September 19, USAID staff joined the Mpika District Commissioner, David Siame, and Mukungule Community Resource Board Chairperson Harriet Mupeka and Secretary Muwawa Shad for the opening ceremony. USAID representative Jameson Hutton said “An active Community Resource Board, like this one in Mukungule, needs a space to conduct consultations and represent the families who reside around national parks and especially in game management areas. These locally-led associations ensure rural communities derive tangible and inclusive benefits from the sustainable use of natural resources.”
USAID partners with the Mukungule community through the Luangwa Livelihood and Conservation activity to advance both the Zambian and U.S. governments’ development goals in biodiversity and natural resources management. The Department of National Parks and Wildlife, the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Chief Mukungule, the people of Mukungule, and two private sector construction companies – ASCO Zambia Limited and Earthrow Investments – all contributed to ensuring the building was completed in line with national building standards.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Zambia.