News & Updates
Newsletter September, October, November 2011
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
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
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.