ADDIS ABABA: The absence of clear demarcation of boarder and expansion of human settlement have put Nech Sar National Park under threat.
The Park Administrator Shimels Zenebe told The Ethiopian Herald that: “Though the park was established in 1974 with the total area of 514 KM2 . . .Its boundaries has not yet been marked off and so it is exposed to fast expansion of human settlement.”
The demarcation process has been delayed because the park is situated mainly in South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State (SNNPs) apart from sharing some of its territories with Oromia State on the north eastern side, he said.
He, therefore, reiterated that due to the communication and commitment gap between the two states, so far demarcation has not been put into action on the top of several initiations.
While the SNNPs government evacuated the total of nearly 300 households from the boundaries of the park in 2007 and relocated them at neighboring zones but the Oromia State did not do the same, he noted.
Shimels also indicated that the park in collaboration with African Parks Organization had evacuated about 420 households from Oromia side of the park. “But, following the pulling out of organization, these households had returned to their former settlement in the park.”
Currently, the number of households in the park is increasing and has reached about 1,280 households.
“These peoples are now involving in clearance of forests at wide scale for farming and settlement purpose. They are also carrying out hunting,” he said.
According to different sources thus, wild animals such as elephant, buffalo, black rhino, cheetah and giraffe are completely disappeared from the park.
Shimels, therefore, said concerned bodies like Ethiopian Wild Life Conservation Authority and others should give a due attention and very urgent response to save the park and its wild lives.
It is to be recalled that Nech Sar National Park is well known for being home for wild lives like Plains Zebra, Grant’s Gazelle,Dik-dik, and the greater Kudu, as well as one of the last three populations of the endangered Swayne’s hartebeest, which are endemic to Ethiopia.