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News & Updates

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. Indian Newspaper
"the Hitvada"
reports about Martin's visit in October, 2006

. "The Times of India" online reports about anti-poaching in TATR (Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve) and Mr Dhanwatey collaboration with Martin...
Newsletter September, October, November 2011

Dear readers,

Almost end of November and about time for an update on our activities in Zimbabwe. After my return I have been busy sorting out my Temporary Employment Permit. This takes always longer than you expect, but finally it was accepted and been processed. I can tell you that I have received it last week.
In the meantime I have been living with Charlie Huwat and her friend Veronica. That is what you call hospitality! An ideal situation to sort out my papers in Harare because to rent a room here is an expensive business. After the paperwork I drove back to Hwange (up and down about 1500km), to see the members of the ALL4Ap team and the situation in their camp. Despite some inconveniences and the absence of a permanent vehicle, the guys were happy and in good spirits.

To be able to train people I deliberated with the Lion project to take Andrea Sibanda with me to be able to do this. Andrea, who was also present at the previous training in Vumba, accepted and came to Harare. We went to the eastern highlands to do the refresher course in Vumba. It was nice to see all familiar faces and without a doubt a very valuable time we spend together. Especially because there had been a new warden been installed at the time we arrived. Even here we were guests of Charlene (we stayed in one of the Environment Africa houses). The same house we used in November 2010. This went well, despite the usual power sharing (read no power). We were prepared and brought plenty of candles with us.
Up and until September the Vumba team had removed over 800 wire snares and whip-traps and some nets for fishing and 23 people were arrested in their 8 months of existence. This is a very positive figure. It showed in the fact that we saw many more Semango monkeys and we heard more callings of the rare blue duikers (if you are not aware of them you might think the sound comes from frogs..) To support the team Andrea and I participated in a ‘fun run’ which was organized to enhance the popularity of the team. Martin finished the 10km hand in hand with the new warden from National Parks!
In addition we performed a training for the ‘Carbon Green Africa’ project in the North of Zimbabwe in the Zambezi escarpment area. Scouts from de ‘Mbire Rural District Council’ had to be trained here. The ‘Dande’ area lays at the Zambezi river and runs south and east, bordering both Zambia and Mozambique. It is an enormous area where there is a lot of poaching. At the end of October we went for the trip and performed a 3 week training. No easy task if you know that the temperatures were over 43C (yes in the shade..) and no running water or electricity, let alone a toilet... Despite harsh climate we managed to execute all parts of the course and all 25 scouts were congratulated with their results. Andrea and I also congratulated each other since not every local was convinced we could stick it out under these conditions..

Positive sign was that a specially protected and endangered Pangolin was captured by villagers and picked up by Council personnel who brought it to us. Most probably it would otherwise have been eaten. Custom is to bring this animal to the Chief in his honour. We have made up an arrest report and now the students could see the rare animal alive. Even for Andrea it was the first time ever to see it. After this we released this impressive animal.

Regards, Martin & Andrea.