Anti-poaching campaign alive
What started as almost a spur-of-the-moment, emotional pledge initiative at the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) Tourism Awards Gala in November 2014, has turned into a well-established, well-supported and successful national anti-poaching project in the Palmwag area as funds for the project are trickling in according to Gitta Paetzold, CEO of Hospitality Association of Namibia.At a media briefing on Tuesday called by O&L Group of Companies and the Hospitality Association of Namibia, to re-confirm their commitment to the cause, Mr Fritz Schenk of Palmwag Lodge, confirmed that thus far, some N$318,000 of the N$360,000 in pledges at Gala Event have been remitted.
In addition, other private persons and companies from Namibia and across the borders donated N$89,000 to the cause. Gitta Paetzold, in feedback of the event said that since the beginning of December 2014, some 38 hours of helicopter surveillance have been conducted in the Palmwag area, in addition to regular foot and vehicle patrols on the ground.
“A central control office has been set up at the Save the Rhino Trust office at Palmwag, from where daily operations are co-ordinated, with members of the Palmwag concession, neighbouring conservancies, the Save the Rhino Trust and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism teaming up efforts.
Even the Namibian police has joined the efforts to patrol the area,” he added.
Since the start of the dedicated patrols, only one more poaching incident was reported, (cow & calf discovered in the area just after Christmas.) The Palmwag Concession Anti-Poaching Initiative has vowed to continue its efforts to safeguard the Namibian Rhino.