Pumping water for Wildlife
in Hwange National Park
We've partnered with the Water4Wildlife Trust operating in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park to support pumping water for wildlife!
Hwange National Park has very limited natural surface water and, since the 1930s, waterholes have been pumped using groundwater. Initially these were powered by windmills, then by engines, and now, by innovative solar hybrid pumps. This has attracted herds of elephants even during the dry season and the population of these enormous mammals has grown exponentially; the park now has almost 4 times as many elephants as it should have!
Pumping water is essential to support as many animals as possible during the dry season. However, it also encourages population growth and is therefore not a long-term solution as the environment lacks the capacity to sustain growing elephant populations. These populations also make it difficult for smaller animals to access waterholes, eat enormous amounts of vegetation and destroy important acacia and teak forests. Partners are exploring options and promoting research to manage what seems to be an ecological crisis. However, in the short-term, water needs to be pumped as animals move to these areas expecting water that has been pumped here for decades.
Six pumped waterholes in the southern remote part of Hwange, an area prone to intense droughts, are especially well visited by wildlife and require high-tech pumping systems…otherwise they can dry out very quickly when being visited by thousands of animals on a daily basis. These are solar hybrid pumps maintained by the Water4Wildlife Trust that pump during the sunshine hours and a diesel engine kicks-in during the dark hours to continue pumping water to these popular waterholes. Find out more about the different waterholes inside Hwange that we are supporting and view a short video here .
The Camelthorn Foundation partnered with the Water4Wildlife Trust in both 2021 and 2022 to help maintain these pumps, provide fuel for their engines, repair solar panels, employ on site Pump Attendants and ensure Hwange’s wildlife is sustained throughout the annual dry season. It has contributed to pumping over 180 million litres of water to wildlife in 2022 alone!