An official has called upon the national government to revive and rehabilitate the Radom National Park to generate revenues from tourism.
Located in Kafia Kingi in Western Bahr el Ghazal, Radom National Park was established in 1980 as a member of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Rivers, streams, and permanent pools cover much of the park, which is characterized as a wooded savannah.
It is believed that the park has suffered from commercial game poaching, subsequent to the country’s 1985 famine era, the Tora Hartebeest completely disappeared from the park.
Most of the park is disputed nowadays between the Sudan and South Sudan, as the area of Kafia Kingi, which makes up the vast majority of the national park.
It was to be transferred to South Sudan through the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, however, Sudan is still holding some weak control over the area.
“Based on information we have, people are using it for smuggling minerals. There more than 50,000 people who are mining there – looking for gold and other minerals,” says Maj.-Gen. Khamis Adiang, assistant director general for conservation at the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism.
“We want those people to move from that park, our government at the top level should intervene so that we can rehabilitate the area and use it for generating revenues.”
The tourism industry in East Africa is a major driver of employment, investment and foreign exchange.
It raised 1.55 billion dollars in Kenya in 2018, while Uganda earned 1.88 billion dollars from tourism in the same year.
Last year, the United States launched a 7.5 million dollar project to support conservation of wildlife, natural resources and protected areas in South Sudan.
The funds, managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, would enable the project to build sustainable livelihoods and mitigate conflict in and around Boma and Badingilo national parks.
It also sought to address the increasing pressure on wildlife from poachers and traffickers, and the unregulated developments in the parks and reserves.
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Published Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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