Erongo conservancies receive anti-poaching equipment

SWAKOPMUND: The game guards in the Otjimboyo and Ohungu conservancies near the Ugab River will no longer patrol on foot as they have now received a donation of seven bicycles from Swakop Uranium Foundation.

The two conservancies are located about 40 kilometres north east of Uis settlement in Erongo Region with species such as elephants, cheetahs, kudus, leopards, ostriches, jackals, brown hyenas and springboks.

Swakop Uranium’s Vice-president: Human Resources and Business Support Percy McCallum on Tuesday, handed over some of the anti-poaching equipment and a cheque of N.dollars 62 465 to buy some more equipment.

Other equipment are seven binoculars, seven camping tents, seven sleeping bags, seven back packs, seven water bottles and six two-way radios.

“With the rife poaching currently in the country, I am sure these equipment will greatly assist in the prevention of such illegal acts,” McCallum said.

Receiving the donation, chairperson of the Ohungu Conservancy Benedictus April thanked Swakop Uranium and stated that poaching is the biggest challenge in that area.

“This year, our guards managed to arrest five poachers just by patrolling on foot. I am sure that with the bicycles ,their work is even easier,” he said.

Speaking to Nampa on the sideline of the event, Otjimboyo Conservancy chairperson Iyambo Naruseb said overgrazing by communal farmers affected the game population in the area.

As such most of the animals migrated north in search of grazing.

“Our hunting quota for this year have 50 springboks, 15 ostriches, one cheetah, a leopard, five jackals and one hyena. Last year, the Ministry of Environment gave us an elephant which was slaughtered. The meat was shared with community members from nearby conservancies,” said Naruseb.

He said hunting for the quota will start next month, where meat will mostly be given to community members and the traditional authorities especially during cultural festivals.

The skins and other valuable trophies from the animals will be sold to generate income.

Such money will be used to pay game guards and finance other day-to-day activities in the conservancies.