News & Updates
Zimbabwe, Newsletter November - December 2010
With what we finished last month, we start this month: The training in the
Vumba, Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe.
On request of the ‘Tikki Hywood Trust’ and in collaboration with
Environment Africa we performed a 3 week anti poaching training course.
Three weeks of hard work resulted in 8 newly trained scouts from the private
sector and three scouts from National Parks. Next to those there were 2
other scouts; one from ALL4AP and one from a sister organization in
Hwange. Initially their where 36 people interested but after the first tests we
remained with 21 for the first week.
Subjects where applicable law (largest part) first aid, spoors and signs,
arrest and ambush techniques and next to the drill the additional physical
Purpose of this initiative was to train the team and make it part of the whole
area, working under supervision from National Parks and to create more
competent labor for them to perform the needed patrols in the area.
After the first week 13 people where left that came to the finish. The results
of the three weeks where obvious; in about two days of practical’s they
managed to remove 220 wire snares already!
This is promising for the future of the team.
It was clear that the area had not seen much protection in the past. In the
first week already we arrested 7 people for wood poaching and impounded a
lorry with a loading capacity of 18 tons. In the end 3 of those people had to
pay a fine and the impounded vehicle was returned after payment of
USD310,- Are the fines for compensation of wildlife serious these days; the
fines for wood poaching really have to be addressed; USD20,- for a log will
not scare many people off.
The beginning of this month I used for moving out of Katshana, my house
and to hand over the ALL4AP team to the Lion research project in Hwange.
Because I will leave for Kenya to set up ALL4AP there and we already
received a lot of funding through this project they were an obvious choice.
The ALL4AP team will, if the authorities allow us, operate in Hwange
National Park and work together with ‘Wilderness Safaris’.
They will start end of January.
On my last day in Hwange, I was asked by my French research neighbors to
come and assist to catch some elephants to provide them with a collar to
monitor their movements. This took place and on our search for the second
elephant we came across a young zebra stallion which had a snare
around its leg. It was a nice ending of this year to be able to help this
animal before leaving and to be able to practice my ‘darting skills’.
Now preparing for Kenya.
Martin & Team