Field Rangers in Mthethomusha Nature Reserve, which is under the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA), will be warm out in the wild this winter, following the generous donation from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) through their South Africa’s Khetha programme, backed by USAID.
The kits include amongst others tents, mattresses, sleeping bags and medical kits, meeting a critical equipment gap at a time when conservation agencies are under major resource constraints that was worsened by the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and the loss of tourism income.
This initiative is aimed at addressing the impact of wildlife trafficking on people and wildlife in the South African and Mozambican landscape of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA). The objective of the programme is to support the efforts of the Mozambique and South Africa governments, as well as NGOs, private sector, civil society and communities living in and close to affected areas.
Craig Hay from the Southern Africa Wildlife Trafficking Hub at WWF South Africa said that the equipment would make rangers’ work a little easier and more comfortable as their wellbeing is of utmost importance.
“Rangers often work under very difficult conditions every day, whether in camp or on patrol. They face numerous dangers and discomforts, from extreme weather to wild animals, disease, and encounters with illegal trespassers,” Hay said.
The Acting CEO of MTPA, Mduduzi Vilakazi was appreciative of the WWF contribution of the field rangers’ semi-permanent operations enabling kit.
“We convey our sincere appreciation to WWF-South Africa Khetha Programme for their enabling support in the continuation of conserving and protecting our natural heritage. We look forward to a long-standing relationship and support” Vilakaz said.