Nech Sar National Park under threat (Ethiopia)


Yosef Ketema, The Ethiopian Herald

Date Published

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. 

And it is believed Second national Park in attracting largest number of tourists next to Semien Mountains National Park.