Mkomazi Newsletter 1999: Travel, Trusts, and Trustees
Tony traveled twice to the USA for fundraising trips organised by the USA Trust and Elizabeth Winston. Details of these trips are available from the USA office, and our heartfelt thanks are extended to US Fish and Wildlife, the Ray Rowe Trust, Disney, Busch Gardens, International Rhino Foundation, Tanzanian Wildlife Fund, Global Communications for Conservation, Goldman Environmental Foundation, Peter Morton, Laura Miller, Denise Gautier and all the Trustees in New York, LA and San Francisco who did so much to help.
These USA trips were combined with visits to UK and The Netherlands and it was good to link up with a large group of supporters at the Friends of Mkomazi dinner in London in January 99, and a subsequent few weeks catching up with all those who are involved in this project. Tony gave a speech at the Beekse Bergen Zoo in the Netherlands and met with the Trustees and supporters of the project.
Trustees meetings took place in the UK, The Netherlands, the USA and Tanzania and we were pleased to be able to welcome Trustees and Administrators to MGR, including Brigadier Mbita and Charles Dobie, Dr Aart Visee, Lee Baxter, Georgianna Regnier, James Lucas, Anthony Gross, Georgina Mortimer, Frank Teuling and Laura Miller.
We have great faith in Mr. Lusasi, Mr. Chuwa and their new team and once again the whole process of revival takes off. Twice in a decade, but at least this time we really know what we are dealing with and have a very different sheet of paper to work from. The new Director of Wildlife, Emmanuel Severre, has said that he is in favour of what the Trust are achieving. Charles Mdoe, one of the assistant directors in charge of reserves and projects, is an old friend and of the other assistant directors, Rehema Tibanyenda has been to camp and listened to our needs for the reserve. Things are being sorted out on a professional and practical level and the ties with KWS are much closer and positive. The talks on the possibility of a translocation of rhino from Kenya to Mkomazi (through KWS) sound good, and the next stage of the wild dog programme - reintroduction - is in the planning stages.
The Trusts now employ over 40 Tanzanian personnel. All the men who work here (many have been here for over 10 years) are now skilled in one field or another. Mechanics, plant machine operators, animal keepers, carpenters, rhino sanctuary security force and fence maintenance gangs, electricians, solar system mechanics, stone masons, plumbers and base camp managers. Elisaria Nnko, the operations manager oversees all, and we have faith and trust in their work and commitment to the project. They each have their own understanding of the bigger picture of wildlife preservation in their country. Although the day to day running of all the detail of such an operation is arduous, it is great to be a part of this team.
As the pressure on us increases to do so much more, there is the resultant increase in expenditure. We must thank you all for your long-term support and faith in the Trusts endeavours. Were in this for the long term and hope you will stick with us.
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