Alternative water points for elephants

The provision of alternative water points for elephants away from the main source of water for livestock and domestic use has been tried in #Khoadi //hoas and by IRDNC in a number of other Kunene conservancies. In both cases there have been problems with the operation of such water points, again relating to lack of feeling of ownership by the conservancy and subsequent lack of maintenance.

Alternative water points fail if conservancies don't have enough diesel to pump water at both points. Solar pumps may be a solution to this problem. In addition, communities should agree not to settle at the water point or allow their livestock to drink there. (Guibeb Pers. Comm; Esterhuizen Pers. Comm). It could be difficult to get such an agreement in a semi-arid to arid area such as Kunene Region where mobility is important for successful livestock farming and drought is a normal occurrence. Again theft of the solar panels and the pump could be a potential problem.

The cost to build alternative elephant water points in conservancies assisted by the NGO IRDNC varied between N$ 20.000 to N$ 25.000, (≈ 2870 - 3580 US $) including piping from the source ranging between 1-5 km Esterhuizen (Pers. Comm.).

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