Women treasurers on the way up

Gertrude Eises
Gertrude Eises

As Treasurer of Sorris Sorris Conservancy, Gertrude Eises, not only manages the figures, she’s also part of them. Nearly a half – 49% – of conservancy treasurers are women. That’s up 10% from last year. Another 15% are chairpersons and 35% of all committee members are women.

Gertrude is not fussed about the national picture. She is new on the committee and has her own books to look after. She says she is coping well after financial training given by the MET in Uis.

Income to Sorris Sorris from the new joint venture lodge operated by Namibia Exclusive Safaris is set to make all the difference to the conservancy, which has struggled with finance up to now. There is some income from Madisa Camp Site, and only a small amount from hunting because the hunter has not been active. The drought has drastically reduced the amount of meat the conservancy can harvest, which was cut to one kilo per member this year. “People are unhappy”, says Gertrude, “but we are trying our best.”

Her own farm tells a typical story: of their ten ewes, several died because of the drought and two were taken by jackals, for which they received N$400 each in compensation from the conservancy.

The conservancy is reviewing its benefit policy, which will be put to the AGM in July, when Gertrude will present her first financial report. “I hope I will cope,” she says, but she has a confident smile.

Steve Felton
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