Training, equipment for Omaheke game guards
04 November 2019 | Local News
The workshop, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism with support from the US Embassy, was aimed at developing skills and competencies of the Eiseb, Omuramba ua Mbinda and Otjombinde conservancy game guards, as well as to advance their roles and functions, to best capacitate them in performing dual functions as full Resource Monitors.
The 21 guards received camping equipment including tents, mattresses, sleeping bags, flashlights, binoculars, cameras and GPS devices after the training to support their activities around their conservancies, with funding from the US Embassy.
“Game guards play a major role in the effective management and safeguarding of conservancy natural resources, including forest products, Devils Claw and wildlife,” a statement from the NNF read. The guards are also entrusted with a great responsibility of implementing the event book system in their respective conservancies, which contains all information regarding game in a conservancy as gathered by the game guards and is used for decision-making by the Conservancy Management Committee and other Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) support bodies for implementing conservation strategies.
In addition to the event book system, the game guards were also trained on three Unit Standards which assists with implementing the event book system.
According to senior game guard from the Eiseb Conservancy, Uaekua Hange, the training was an eye-opener. “I learned so much about our conservancy that I did not know before. With this valuable training and support, we now have the courage to motivate other game guards not to give up in volunteering their time to safeguard the valuable resources of our conservancy.”
Nabot Mbeeli, NNF CBNRM Project Coordinator for Omaheke said that the training workshop successfully reached its objective in developing practical skills and exchanging ideas and expertise between the participants from the different conservancies, as this was a first of its kind. There was a lot of field experience at the workshop, with some of the participants boasting 10 years’ experience in being community game guards, and thus it served as a good platform to use real and practical examples during the training to learn from each other.
The US Embassy made U$25 000 available through its Small Grants Programme to support the NNF in diversifying its activities around Devils Claw harvesting and to provide support to game guards and conservancy managers through trainings, workshops and equipment.