News & Updates
Zimbabwe, February 2008
The rains have stopped and it is always amazing to see how quickly the land dries up
and becomes dusty. It is as the rains never touched the ground although the green trees
and bushes tell you otherwise. This summer was good in terms of rains. Some even
complained there was too much.
Compared with last month January was very quiet in terms of poaching. This is for the
biggest part because people have been plowing their acres and planting their seeds so
less time to go poaching.
It did give us some relief because we had some car problems to deal with and on top of
that the mechanic was sick so that did not help either. We did some joint patrols with the
people from Forestry Commission (FC) in the 'Forestry' land and picked up some snares
in an area near 'Ivory Lodge' not far from the communal lands.
We were present at the 'Stakeholder' meeting, were a number of issues were discussed.
One of the issues was the prevention of 'bush fires'. The stakeholders set up 'Fire Alert
base stations' in strategic places throughout the Gwayi Conservancy. Bush fires are a
real threat for both animals and their habitats as well as for humans and their buildings.
Preparing for bush fires is a necessity and collaboration favorable for all participants.
Not everybody is in possession of for instance a tractor to prepare fire guards so helping
each other is vital.
Another meeting was held with the community North-East of the village Dete. The
meeting was conducted by the anti-poaching teams from both Painted Dog Conservation
(PDC) and Animal Life Line for Anti Poaching to explain Nature conservation and the role
anti poaching teams play in that. A total of 46 head man gathered for the meeting and
our teams were accompanied by our colleagues from Forestry commission, the
Zimbabwean Republic Police (ZRP) and an education Officer from PDC. Head men
represent a number of people in a village from about 5 up to sometimes 30 people.
Main aim was to make ourselves known and understood by the community. We agreed
that raids that were done by the Police assisted by FC and ourselves were not good for
the community but that the Police was left with no other options since the poaching
manifested itself amongst the villagers.
To stop such raids the community should play a role in identifying poachers amongst
themselves and report them to the Police.
Morale at the meeting was high and the head men asked to have more of these
meetings in their area.
All the best,