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Hwange Crisis

by John and Jenny Brebner
(Bulawayo 11th Nov 2011)

Reports coming out of Hwange National Park are fairly dismal right now. Teams who took part in the recent annual game count mostly reported pans in a desperate state with water being very short. Diesel supplies have been erratic, compounding the problem, with some pans running dry altogether and thus, putting untold pressure on the more reliable pans, which are now, too, struggling to keep up with the demand.

It would seem that the elephant herds this year returned to the park rather earlier than normal and numbers seem to have escalated beyond the norm. The age of some of the pumps, engines and pipelines have also added to the mix and it is that time of the year when its truly a mission to keep some of these ancient pieces of equipment running twenty four hours a day.

The intense heat that has been experienced not only in Hwange but country wide recently has not assisted with the situation, obviously adding to the evaporation and animals becoming more dependent on what little water is being provided. Our fervent hope is that we don’t return to the crisis that prevailed in 2005.

Every effort is being made to keep the waterpoints going 24/7. Gary Cantle, in particular, and Parks in general, must be commended for the enormous effort being put into keeping things running as much as is possible and as always, grateful thanks must go to the sponsors and donors both external and internal.

On a lighter note, we heard from some folks counting in the Robins area who reported that the camp there seems to be receiving a face lift which is such good news, especially as Robins, along with Sinamatella, has been neglected for so long.
Please pray for rain.

John and Jenny Brebner

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