The new Makona Ranger Sub-station in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park will be a helpful resource to combat the rampant elephant poaching in the Park.
Built as part of a conservation agreement between ZimParks and IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), it is a foundational step in Room to Roam—IFAW’s initiative that aims to promote healthy coexistence between humans and elephants. The camp will be home to 56 rangers and their families.
‘The new construction will also help the communities living near the park, who have suffered from elephants and other large herbivores destroying their crops and predators killing their livestock,’ says IFAW.
IFAW supports ranger training in the park, as well as the procurement of a patrol vehicle and other equipment. As a result, there has been a significant reduction in poaching with not a single elephant incident being recorded in Hwange National Park in the past three years.
All these measures will help greatly to reduce the response time to poaching threats.
Augustine Gomba, ZimParks’ Wildlife Officer based at Hwange Main Camp, says before the road was developed, driving to Makona was a nightmare. ‘The sandy soils and the rugged nature of the road meant that that on average the trip to Makona would take a gruelling four hours at least,’ he says according to IFAW.