Save Wildlife Conservation Fund, a charitable organisation has taken substantial measures to address the critical predicament faced by the wildlife inhabiting the dry Nxaraga Hippo pool where more than 200 hippos are stranded.
Just as in 2019, the water source of the pool has been dwindled by the dry spell consequently endangering the animals, some of which migrated from Lake Ngami and Nxaichai pool to Nxaraga for survival. During the 2019 dry spell tens of hippos died in the mud of the pool.
To address the current situation, Save Wildlife Conservation Fund in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) have equipped a borehole nearby with solar panels in order for it to be able to pump water into the pool. This intervention has notably transformed the surrounding ecosystem for the better as it now serves as the newfound lifeline supplying water to the hippo pool.
Member of the organisation, Keatlaretse Makhombi has revealed that two community members from Nxaraga have also been employed to oversee the maintenance of the solar panels as well as to feed the hippos.
For his part the organisation’s project manager Tirelo Ramasimong emphasised that the Fund has maintained its role in wildlife conservation by consistently striving to avert the dire fate that befell the hippos during the hydrological drought of 2019. He noted that during that challenging period, the fund successfully drilled a borehole to provide the animals with water.
Nxaraga Hippo pool has been grappling with the untimely and insufficient influx of water from the Okavango Delta. Traditionally, this natural event occurs during the months of June and July, as indicated by historical seasonal patterns. This deviation from the norm has resulted in a drought, prompting a considerable portion of the wildlife population, notably the hippos, to migrate to alternative water bodies.
In particular, the Nxaraga pool witnessed an alarming surge in population, accommodating an estimated 200 hippos, in stark contrast to the 80 hippos recorded in 2019. Regrettably, the migration and scarcity of adequate water sources caused intense competition and overcrowding among the animals, ultimately leading to the tragic loss of some hippo lives during the drought.
Some other Non-Governmental Organizations, private entities and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DNWP) have also previously partnered to save the remaining hippos through feeding them. DNWP also drilled boreholes to fill the Nxaraga water pool while awaiting floods. The Director of Africa Trails (a privately owned eco campsite, located near the pool), Loggy Omara who was among those from private entities which contributed towards saving the hippos during the 2019 prolonged drought also pledged his borehole towards helping the hippos as it is located near the pool.