Mkomazi Newsletter 1999: General
Neumanns, through Ibero and Mazao, have continued to extend their generosity for assistance with the field communications and office back up. It seems ridiculous to wax lyrical on the advantages of a telephone and fax, but for us it has been a great blessing. Paul Chauveau and Ian Myers of the Communications Company designed and built the system, which operates through a series of radios and antennas and telephone patches into the Moshi telephone exchange. It has certainly changed our lives on an administrative, technical and safety level. Thank you all very much.
Mweka Wildlife College have established an endangered species section and visited with students to look at the programmes in Kisima Camp and to gain practical knowledge. Dr Titus Mlengaya, the chief vet of Tanzania National Parks, Dr Richard Kock and Phil Matthews came in a helicopter on a rinderpest survey sponsored by the EU and The Tanzanian Wildlife Conservation Monitoring Unit came to do a game count.
We received a visit from the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, and his family, whose home is near Same, and the Chief Justice of Tanzania also visited to see the rhino sanctuary. Our District Commissioner, Peter Kangwa, who became a good friend left for another region and we have met the new District Commissioner, albeit in the flurry of the Secondary School opening.
Elisaria Nnko, the operations manager, oversees the daily running of the base camp, the rhino sanctuary and the wild dog project. The workshop is never still and the vehicles move in and out for preventative maintenance, overhauls and daily checks. All the plant machinery has broken down, but we are lucky to have experienced mechanics, who, together with Tony, are able to pin down any problems. JCB in the UK has been very generous with the continual supply of spare parts, and advice. Eric Winberg of NOREMCO is always on the other end of the phone helping to identify areas of trouble, and pointing us in the right direction to rectify the problems.
Anytime there is a serious breakdown of any of the equipment in camp which cannot be fixed in the workshop, it always means extended trips to Arusha, Moshi or Dar es Salaam usually undertaken by Elisaria, to fix these machines or equipment. The money needed to fix and maintain these machines externally is considerable and can often dynamite the carefully planned monthly budgets.
The Dutch Trust donated a secondhand Landrover Pick-up and TUSK gave a donation to upgrade the equipment. Elsa Conservation Trust and the Friends of Mkomazi continue their solid support as did the Goldman Environmental Foundation and Peter Morton. BP agreed to extend their annual donation of fuel, which makes a great difference to our lives and our budgets. The Caterpillar Grader, JCB, Tractor and Trailer, Bedford and all the Landrovers are in continual use and we now estimate that we need 4 loads of fuel annually. We are also in discussion with BP on the Avgas for the next translocation of rhino from Addo to Mkomazi. Kirstin Cameron at Fleet Air has helped us out on many occasions with charter flights and has allowed her pilots to help us take the Trusts aircraft up to maintenance facilities for the standard checks.
Simon Trevor, a wildlife cinematographer for over 35 years, has put together a foundation for education on wildlife issues through film. His footage over these years has covered the most dramatic events in the preservation of wildlife. He is using this footage to put together films to educate on the cause and effects of various decisions that have been made (or otherwise), and in so doing plotting the curve of environmental policy and field results over an extended period of time. We are pleased to be involved with him in this, albeit on a peripheral level.
HIT Entertainment organised for a great film crew from the South African National History Unit to take footage of the project that will be used in a documentary which is currently being edited. John Rendall came with the film crew.
Many friends and supporters have given such a wide range of help that it would take many pages to list everything. The support ranges over many different levels, that I have just given a few examples of various supporters in this newsletter simply to give an overall impression. Lists of supporters are available from the Trust offices.
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