We've got a few highlights from 2023 we wanted to share with you!
In 2023, the Camelthorn Foundation, thanks to you all, contributed specifically towards:
Buying uniforms for scouts protecting reintroduced white rhino to the Hwange ecosystem in western Zimbabwe
In May 2023, the Camelthorn Foundation provided berets, badges, boots, jerseys and uniforms to members of the Cobras Community Wildlife Protection Unit.
These scouts carry out patrols, provide conservation education, alleviate human wildlife conflicts and proactively protect community rhino as part of the Community Rhino Conservation Initiative
Establishing needed infrastructure to provide water for huge numbers of elephants and other animals at Steve’s Pan in Jozibanini in southern Hwange
The Steve’s Pan project was commissioned in 2021 to provide great relief for the huge thirsty herds coming from the west, every dry season. But last year, it was obvious that water was insufficient in the late dry season, and that erosion around the troughs from overspilling water and elephant pressure was creating a muddy and even dangerous situation, particularly for elephant calves.
So in 2023, the Water4Wildlife Trust, with the help of the Camelthorn Foundation, set out to rectify the problem, in two ways.
Firstly, by relaying pipes with larger diameter that increased water delivery by 120% - pushing it up to 6,900 litres of water per hour - and secondly, by reinforcing the concrete ‘Elephant Drinking Pad’ around the troughs, to provide all elephants and in particular the youngsters, with a firm, non-slip surface on which they can stand, whilst they quench their parched dry season thirsts.
Read more about this here
Putting in place two accommodation and one ablutions block at Ngamo Secondary School
Ngamo Secondary School serves several surrounding villages with the furthest students coming from Mpindo, 20 km away. Because there were no other options at the school, students previously stayed at school by sleeping on the floors of teacher cottages, with teachers living on site, or by sleeping in the classroom which was far from ideal for efficient and effective learning.
The Camelthorn Foundation and the Koch Foundation of Canada, with the local support of the Water4Wildlife Trust, provided 2 accommodation blocks, one for girls and one for boys as well as an extra ablutions block for the girls so they no longer have to share with the boys.
Read more about this here
Progressing the Community Rhino Conservation Initiative and helping bring in 2 trained Malinois dogs
In addition to providing uniforms the Camelthorn Foundation has supported the Community Rhino Conservation Initiative to increase its impact and help its expansion, by supporting the upkeep costs of two trained Belgian Malinois dogs, monthly food rations for scouts and other operational costs. The Initiative has a number of important partners that are essential to its ambitious developments!
Supporting pumping water for wildlife efforts in southern Hwange throughout the dry season
The Camelthorn Foundation supported the Water4Wildlife Foundation throughout the long dry season of 2023. Over 7,800 litres of diesel were consumed by 6 solar hybrid pumps in southern Hwange to provide both solar and diesel-pumped water for wildlife, including thousands of elephants.
Read more about the importance of pumping water for wildlife in this part of Zimbabwe here
Feeding school children attending impoverished schools in wildlife areas
In 2023, the Camelthorn Foundation helped the Water4Wildlife Trust provide over 450,000 school meals to 11 different schools - over 2,500 children. Sometimes this was in the form of a nutritional drink called mahewu, or as the staple maizemeal and beans or soya chunks. Monthly teacher rations to 26 teachers as well as food packs for over 30 children boarding at schools were also distributed. In an area with lots of sand, wild animals, intense heat, no public transport...giving children a boost of energy to help them learn, after walking for several kilometers, is very important.
Supporting mobile dental and eye care clinics in rural Zimbabwean villages
In 2023, the annual Smile and See Safari, led by Imvelo Safari Lodges and the Water4Wildlife Trust, in partnership with a host of other partners including Smile is a Foundation, the D3 Foundation and the Camelthorn Foundation, treated over 5,200 patients, bringing the running total over the last 12 years to over 42,000 patients. Over 2,900 dental treatments were carried out and 1770 prescription glasses were given to people in need.
2023 would not have been so successful without you!