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 2024 drought in 
Southern Africa 

 How to tackle an unfolding crisis 

This year the people and wildlife of Hwange face the severe consequences of an abysmal rainfall last season - certainly the worst in living memory.

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Over the last 4 years, the Camelthorn Foundation has supported the work of Imvelo Safari Lodges and the Water4Wildlife Trust operating  in and around Hwange National Park. It has supported its pumping water for wildlife efforts (read more about this  here  )as well as its school lunch programme (read more about this  here  ).

But this year, the need is even greater.

Given the area’s experience with past droughts, Imvelo Safari Lodges and the Water4Wildlife Trust is working very hard to tackle this unfolding crisis head-on and mitigate as many terrible impacts as possible.


With very limited natural surface water, Hwange National Park relies on pumped ground water to the surface for animals to drink. Imvelo has over 25 pumps both inside and around the Park that sustain thousands of animals. Most of these pumps have solar hybrid units; sunshine provides power to pump water during the day and batteries, or diesel engines, then pump throughout the night. There is an opportunity, and need, to drill more boreholes, to equip solar units with batteries and alleviate pressure on diesel generators, to increase pipeline sizes for enhanced water flow, to build reinforced concrete slabs, or “elephant drinking pads” around troughs so that these areas can withstand enormous elephant pressure and to maintain, repair and expand a wildlife-proof fence to stop thirsty and hungry animals from overspilling into communal lands.


In parallel, people living alongside Hwange National Park’s southern boundary are predominantly subsistence farmers living in an area of poor soil fertility, erratic rainfall and intense human-wildlife conflicts. In hard times, desperate people have turned to bush meat poaching in the Park to feed their families. It is important to work to reduce this. Not only is there a need for more boreholes, borehole repairs and better access to water, there is also a need to supply communities, including children, with food. Every year, Imvelo works hard to help however it can to provide both food and water to local people...This year Imvelo is ramping up its efforts.


Imvelo has drilled three new boreholes specifically aimed at establishing irrigated food gardens. These gardens will be fundamental in supporting communities during the dry seasons for years to come and will significantly improve land productivity in an area of poor soil fertility and unreliable rainfall. In the meantime, Imvelo continues to deploy a community team to maintain boreholes in villages, where Imvelo has already done 35 – and counting - repairs on boreholes since the beginning of the year. 


Attendance at schools in the area started declining during the first semester as kids ran out of energy - no corn in the fields means no corn-on-the-cob for breakfast. Imvelo ramped up its school lunch program for a larger-than-normal kick-off in the second semester at the beginning of May – and is aiming to provide over 430,000 school meals this year across 12 schools.

Support this work and join the efforts  here 

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