Scorpion Hill anti-poaching station inaugurated - News - Gondwana Collection

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Scorpion Hill anti-poaching station inaugurated

Avatar of inke inke - 16. November 2017 - Environment

Bird’s-eye view of the Scorpion Hill anti-poaching station in Etosha National park. Plans are to set up several stations of this kind to enable patrols to react faster to the presence of poachers.

Foot patrols are scouring the dry bush of Etosha National Park day after day. During the summer months temperatures rise to well over 30 degrees Celsius. The patrols – men and women from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Namibian police and the army – are looking for poachers. Rhinos, though threatened with extinction, are the main target of poachers who operate in the world-famous park. Now the members of the patrols have a place right there in the bush where they can rest for a few days, take a shower and replenish their provisions. Previously they had to be taken to one of the rest camps more than a hundred kilometres away.

At the official opening on 4 November this year the representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Namibia, Anita Kiki Gbeho, pointed out that the anti-poaching station was globally the first partnership between UNDP and the Japanese company Yahoo. The third partner is Namibia’s environment ministry. According to the Japanese ambassador to Namibia, Hideyuki Sakamoto, Yahoo contributed N$ 600,000. UNDP raised N$ 500,000 through the PASS project (Protected Areas System Strengthening), and Cowboys, the company which prefabricated the station and set it up on Scorpion Hill in just six days, added another N$ 100,000. Some infrastructure with a total value of about N$ 300,000 was already there: game-proof fencing, a tower with a water tank and a piece of concrete floor with a roof. A second water tower was erected to ensure that the station always has a water supply of 10,000 litres available.

“I agree with those who say that Etosha is magic. From sunrise until long after sunset the plains and waterholes are places of wonder, of drama and biodiversity. That is why we have to preserve this park and prevent poaching”, the Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said. The anti-poaching station consists of converted shipping containers with accommodation for ten people, a basic operational centre and a twelve-metre observation tower for monitoring the area close to the park’s northern border. Patrols can be coordinated from the station and plans are to set up more stations of this kind. 

Dirk Heinrich

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1 comments

Hans

16. November 2017

A couple of drones might help, ex military hardware.


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