Conservation & Wildlife Fund

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Drought Relief for Hwange’s Elephants – Zimbabwe

adam-herscovitz-photography-01Photo Credit: Adam Herscovitz

In July 2016, the Conservation & Wildlife Fund partnered with Bhejane Trust and GroupElephant.com to implement 7 new solar boreholes in and around the Robins Area of Hwange National Park in an effort to ensure adequate sources of water for the wildlife in the North-Western section of Zimbabwe’s largest National Park. As a key wildlife dispersal area for the Zimbabwe component of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA), North-West Hwange is home to thousands of elephants which disperse between Botswana and Zimbabwe dependant on the seasons.

adam-herscovitz-photography-02Photo Credit: Adam Herscovitz

Concerns were lodged in early 2016 as the 2015 / 2016 drought took effect and it was established that the drought would pose a major challenge to the survival of the largest remaining free-range population of elephants in Southern Africa. In March 2016 an assessment was done by the partnering organisations to establish the area of Hwange in most dire need of additional artificial water supplies, and the Robin’s Area was identified as a crucial zone for intervention.

adam-herscovitz-photography-03Photo Credit: Adam Herscovitz

The rehabilitation of the 7 waterholes and the implementation of the solar pumps hasalready proved to be successful with an increase number of species in the area and drinking regularly from the following Pans:

Big Toms
Little Toms
Bumbumutsa 1
Dolilo
Dandari
Manzimbomvu
Tsamhole

After the seven pumps were installed, they were tested over a month and are consistently producing a total of 17,100 litres per hour or approximately one million litres per week.  It is estimated that under ideal conditions this is enough water to sustain 10,000 elephants, as well as thousands of other wildlife living in this area of the park.

adam-herscovitz-photography-04Photo Credit: Adam Herscovitz

Our thanks go to Zimbabwe National Parks & Game Reserves, Forster Irrigation and the collaborating partners, GroupElephant.com and Bhejane Trust for the successful completion of Stage 1 of the Conservation & Wildlife Fund’s Drought Relief Programme.