Ver Angola

Environment

From hunter to soldier of nature: Governor of Cubango Cubango changed Fernando Tchissingue's life

He started hunting at the age of 17, through the forests of Caiundo, in Menongue, in the province of Cuando Cubango. Today, Fernando Tchissingue ‘Tronco’ left his weapons behind and saw his life change thanks to the provincial government.

: Nicolau Vasco | Edições Novembro
Nicolau Vasco | Edições Novembro  

All his life - 54 years - he knew hunting. Until 2003, he hunted three to seven elephants a day. They say he was the "most feared hunter" in Cuando Cubango. "In the Caiundo commune, where I started hunting, my friends nicknamed me the 'most feared hunter', then I moved to the town of Jamba, in Rivungo, where I hunted elephants at the behest of the highest UNITA leaders, in that height, "he told Jornal de Angola.

During the war, the meat of the animal fed the population and the ivory was traded abroad.

Peace marked a break in hunting and the beginning of a new life dedicated to agriculture. Fernando owns a cultivation field with more than six hectares in Tchatoma, commune of Jamba, municipality of Rivungo. It grows corn, massambala, sweet potato, pumpkin and cassava. Two wives and children help him.

When hunting was already a thing of the past, drought - and consequently the form - plagued the province. 'Tronco' was forced to return to the woods. He hunted wild boars and wild goats in the Luengue-Luiana National Animal Conservation Park. They served to starve his family, he says.

Complaining that he never received support from the state for having "enough food at home", he was detained hunting - in flagrante delicto - on 30 January this year. It transported animals slaughtered in the national park.

"He has been detained more than 15 times for slaughtering several herds of wild animals, with emphasis on elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, among other species, for commercial purposes," said António Lopes, from the Environmental Crimes Unit (UCA), at the same time. newspaper.

Fernando's story caught the attention of Júlio Bessa, governor of Cuando Cubango. Realizing the situation, he went to speak to the hunter. The conversation ended with the governor thinking that this could be a fundamental part in the fight against poachers in the region.

Thus, Fernando saw him offered a technical-professional training course that will transform him into an environmental inspector, a "soldier of nature", so that he can work with the local government to combat poaching.

"In order to combat environmental crimes, it is often necessary to work with people who know how poachers outwit inspectors to slaughter wild animals," said the governor of Cuando Cubango.

To the Jornal de Angola, 'Tronco' was "satisfied", saying that he knows all the ways and tricks used by national and foreign hunters.

With this job offered by the provincial government, you will no longer need to slaughter animals for food. "Now I will properly support my family. I guarantee that I will provide all the necessary support to the government, in actions to combat poaching," he said.