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Upgraded solar plant helps improve rhino surveillance and protection

Upgraded solar plant helps improve rhino surveillance and protection

The solar installation at the base camp of the Save the Rhino Trust, has just been upgraded extensively thanks to the contribution of the trust’s technical and financing partners. The new improved installation was inaugurated last week.

The German Ambassador, HE Christian Schlaga and Mr Simson Uri-Khob, the Chief Operations Officer of the Trust unveiled the 56.4 kWh stationery off-grid photovoltaic solar system at their Palmwag Base Station.

A Euro25,000 grant from the German Federal Foreign Office, channelled through the German Embassy in Windhoek, has enabled the Rhino trust to install the extensive upgrades to its power system. The total value of the project came to N$433,000.

Ambassador Schlaga said the German Embassy is proud to have been able to make an important contribution to the successful work of the ‘Save the Rhino Trust, an NGO that has dedicated itself for more than thirty years to the protection and the survival of the black rhino population in Damaraland and the Kaokoveld.

The trust performs regular antipoaching patrols in a rugged terrain of more than a million hectares with few fences, no formal protection status and no control over who enters or exits.

For optimal logistics, the trust’s MaiGoHa Field Base Station had been erected some years back at Palmwag and has become the hub of a regional collaborative rhino protection effort. The station is not connected to the national power grid and had to manage until recently with a small solar installation.

The power from this source has become inadequate as the station now regularly accommodates between 50 and 70 staff members, researchers, field workers and other visitors. More power was also needed to run the sophisticated communications and monitoring equipment, the trust has deployed to boost its anti-poaching surveillance and reaction.

In the picture, on the day the new installation was inaugurated, are from the left, Andrew Webb (First National Battery), Axel Theissen (Cymot), Simson Uri-Khob (SRT), Ambassador Christian-Matthias Schlaga (German Embassy), Dr. Axel Hartmann (MET) and Leonard Eins (SolSquare).


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