Chief Tsamkxao ≠Oma
EIF funds start making a difference for SAN communities
As funds start to flow from the Green Climate Fund (GCF)/Environmental Investment Fund (EIF)project, the SAN community in Nyae Nyae have used the funds to protect their village water points from elephants. The much needed funds that were awarded by GCF/EIF are immediately benefitting the community.
The San community in Nyae Nyae have relatively little Human Wildlife conflict in the area, even though there are an estimated 1000-1500 elephants in the area. There’s little conflict as innovative arrangement between the conservancy and Trophy Hunters have ensured there are more than over 18 functioning game water points in the area. Despite this, the drought that has impacted the whole of Namibia has obviously put greater strain on wildlife looking for water. This search for water has meant that elephants are more likely to stray into the Conservancy area inhabited by people. This means there’s a greater likelihood of village water points being attacked and damaged. The protection of the water points will mean that the community can hopefully avoid distress in the village and also the inevitable failure of gardens and other projects dependent on water.
Over the years many approaches to water protection have been tried, but in Nyae Nyae with the biggest elephants in the country, the only approach that has proven to consistently work is a two meter high protection wall built from local rocks. These barriers have proven to be impenetrable, keeping the village’s water point and supply secure. Thereby allowing investment in water dependent activities such as livestock management and agriculture. Creating a whole new level of self-sufficiency and sustainability for the San communities.
The GCF/EIF project is funding the building of protection walls in three villages and the overhaul and servicing of all village boreholes in Nyae Nyae over a 12 month period. Thereby making the water-points secure from elephants for the foreseeable future. The funds received from GCF/EIF represent so much more than just an investment, they represent development and empowerment for the communities. Allowing them to secure their livelihoods and their way of life.
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