SWAKOPMUND, 27 OCT (NAMPA) -
Game guards in the Otjimboyo and Ohungu conservancies near the Ugab River will no longer carry out patrols on foot as they have received seven bicycles from the Swakop Uranium Foundation.
The two conservancies are located about 40 kilometres north east of the Uis settlement in the Erongo Region with species such as elephants, cheetahs, kudus, leopards, ostriches, jackals, brown hyenas and springboks.
Swakop Uranium's Vice-President of Human Resources and Business Support, Percy McCallum handed over the bicycles, anti-poaching equipment and a cheque of N.dollars 62 465 for the purchase of more equipment on Tuesday.
The anti-poaching equipment includes items such as binoculars, tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, water bottles and two-way radios. "With the rife poaching currently in the country, I am sure this equipment will greatly assist in the prevention of such illegal acts," McCallum said.
Receiving the donation, the chairperson of the Ohungu Conservancy, Benedictus April thanked Swakop Uranium and said 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 will be even easier," he said.
Speaking to Nampa on the sidelines of the event, Otjimboyo Conservancy chairperson Iyambo Naruseb said overgrazing by communal farmers has affected the game population in the area, with most of the animals having migrated north in search of grazing.
"Our hunting quotas for this year are for 50 springboks, 15 ostriches, one cheetah, a leopard, five jackals and one hyena. Last year, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism gave us an elephant that was slaughtered. The meat was shared with community members from nearby conservancies," said Naruseb.
He said hunting for the quota will start next month, and meat will mostly be given to community members and the traditional authorities, especially during cultural festivals.
The skins and other valuable parts of 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.