MET signs concessions with conservancies

24 Oct 2013 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 24 OCT (NAMPA) - The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Uahekua Herunga signed concession contracts with seven conservancies on Thursday.
Speaking at the event in the capital, Herunga called on conservancy members to take care of the country’s natural resources.
“We must make sure that we do not deplete our natural resources of the country. We must make sure that, what we utilise should also be there for future generations to benefit from,” he noted.
The concession contracts involve the Sheya Shuushona; Mashi; Kwando; King Nehale; Puros and Sesfontein; Wuparo and Mayuni conservancies.
The Puros and Sesfontein conservancies applied to develop a lodge and campsite at Huarusib River Mouth.
The Sheya Shuushona conservancy applied for exclusive traversing rights in the Etosha National Park. The conservancy requested for exclusive areas of 25 by 30 kilometres aligned with conservancy eastern and western boundaries, an exclusive new gate close to their planned lodge as well as an access road.
The Mashi conservancy applied to build and operate a 16-bed tourism lodge at Kazile Island and have tourism activities in the Kwando Core Area of the Bwabwata National Park. The concession was recommended in the Tourism Development Plan for the Bwabwata, Mudumu and Mamili National Parks that was prepared for the ministry in 2009.
The Kwando conservancy applied for the right to build and operate up to a maximum of a 60-bed lodge or chalets at the Old Ranger Station at Susuwe and a satellite camp with approximately ten sites at Nzuna Island.
The King Nehale conservancy applied for exclusive traversing tourism concession rights for tracks inside the Etosha National Park. The rights include access to the Kameeldoring waterhole and Andoni plains for game viewing; rights to develop and operate a hide at Kameeldoring waterhole; access to the park via the existing Mushara management gate or a new private gate to be identified closer to their potential lodge site; and the right to develop and use new game viewing tracks within a 20 kilometre radius of the Mushara management gate.
The Wuparo conservancy applied for traversing rights inside Nkasa Rupala National Park and also the following activity rights: day drives on the island; boating on the Linyanti River; and mukoro (canoe) excursions on the back channels of the river.
The Mayuni conservancy applied for the right to operate a small light footprint 12-bed tented camp at Nambwa; to upgrade the existing camp and to traverse inside the Bwabwata National Park.
“People will starve while we have natural resources to our disposal. But we have to make sure that our resources are protected,” Herunga added.
Currently, there are 79 communal conservancies covering 19.5 per cent of Namibia’s land, with one in five rural Namibians living in a conservancy, according to the Namibian Association of Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Support Organisations (Nancso).