King Nehale conservancy attends to members’ needs

Esther Petrus

The coordinator of the King Nehale conservancy in the Oshikoto region, Esther Petrus, says the conservancy has come up with a number of initiatives in 2022/23 aimed at improving members’ living standards.

This, she says, includes the re-excavation earth dams, which were suffering siltation, and the construction of community clinics and community halls.

Petrus on Wednesday said the main sources of monetary benefits are from the conservancy’s joint venture with King Nehale Lodge (owned by Gondwana), trophy hunting and selling crafts.

She said the conservancy used N$20 000 to re-excavate an earth dam at Amilema village in 2022, as well as N$50 000 to re-excavate an earth dam at Okankololosa village.

She said these activities were conducted as per the needs of the conservancy’s members.

“We do not decide for our members. We go to them and ask them what do they want the conservancy to do for them in their areas,” she said.

Petrus said the conservancy has constructed a community clinic at Omboto village in 2023 in the amount of N$41 247.

She said in October 2023, the conservancy constructed a community clinic at Oshiya village at a cost of N$41 206, while another one was constructed at Ohaiyanda village at a cost of N$42 049.

“We have also revamped a community clinic at Alweendo at a cost of N$41 326,70,” she said.

The conservancy bought building materials worth N$40 946 for the construction of a church hall at Okapuku village, and building materials worth N$200 000 for the construction of a hall at its head offices, which is located a few kilometres south of Omuthiya.

Petrus said the main challenge the concervancy faced was for some of its members to find suitable sites for community clinics, but this challenge was later put to rest thanks to the assistance of village headmen and women.

King Nehale conservancy consists of 10 centres, and its administrative team consists of six employees.

The conservancy has wild animals given to it by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.

It has a joint-venture agreement with Gondwana Collection Namibia’s King Nehale Lodge, which has employed about 50 people from the community.

King Nehale Lodge was officially opened on 28 April 2020.

King Nehale conservancy was registered in September 2005, has a population of about 20 000 people, and spans 508 square kilometres.

Communal conservancies in Namibia are established under the Community-Based Natural Resources Management programme of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, and according to this ministry, there are 86 registered communal conservancies in Namibia.

A communal conservancy is a community-based institution with conditional rights to sustainably use wildlife and natural resources occurring within a self-defined area.

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