As part of ongoing efforts to support the Himba community around Serra Cafema Camp in north-west Namibia, Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit partner, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, has donated USD5 000 towards a community vegetable garden. Located in one of the most remote regions of southern Africa, the Marienfluss Conservancy has been heavily impacted by both drought and the COVID-19 global travel ban, and the nursery will provide much-needed supplementary nutrition to the semi-nomadic Himba families.
In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the vegetable garden, a short course on dietary information, and guidance on the best sustainable farming practices for the tough desert conditions, was held at the end of 2020. The community members were also provided with seeds and shown how to plant them. Irrigation is provided by a solar borehole donated in March 2021, and already, the first vegetables have been successfully harvested.
“This all forms part of our overall strategy to support our partner communities, which has never been as critically important as it is today”, noted Agnes Tjirare, Wilderness Safaris Namibia’s Children in the Wilderness (CITW), Culture and Stakeholder Officer. “We are in the grip of a major drought, which has resulted in the Himba losing their livelihoods – all their cattle. Their only other source of income had been selling crafts through tourism, which came to an end when COVID-19 brought international travel to a standstill”.
Together with CITW, Wilderness Safaris Namibia has continued to provide crucial support to the Himba community throughout the pandemic, and the Marienfluss Conservancy, which is owned primarily by the Himba people, has so far received 300 food parcels since April last year. Each food hamper can sustain a family of four for a month, and contains essential groceries, including maize meal, salt, sugar, rice, cooking oil, soup and soap. Wilderness Safaris also supplies the nearby villages with fresh water three times a week, and a clinic will soon be completed in the area.
“Since 2003, Wilderness Safaris and the Marienfluss Conservancy have been proud partners in Serra Cafema. By offering life-changing journeys to this extraordinary desert location, we can continue positively impacting the local community members of the conservancy, and through these difficult times, we remain determined to do all that we can for our neighbouring communities – as we have been doing for decades”, Agnes concluded.
Click here to watch an inspiring video showcasing Wilderness Safaris Namibia’s Conservation Heroes COVID-relief support.
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