Outside the Bamunu Conservancy office in Zambezi region is a brand new tractor, ready to be put into service earning money for the conservancy. Bamunu’s only source of revenue at the moment is hunting, which brought in just over N$ 800,000 last year. The tractor, bought over two years, cost around half of that. Bamunu intends to contract the tractor out to cut grass at the side of the road.
Another enterprising idea from the conservancy are five electricity transformers, bought as a social benefit to members. They are not hooked up to houses yet – that should start next year. But to pay for benefits, income is needed. The conservancy committee is exploring ideas for a joint venture lodge to supplement income from hunting. Zambezi region is one of Namibia’s prime tourist destinations, and other conservancies nearby have agreements with lodges and camp sites.
Now that the rains are coming, the conservancy members have to decide whether to rent the tractor out for ploughing at a commercial rate, to earn money to pay for benefits, or at a subsidized rate, which would be a benefit in itself. The problem is that everybody wants to plough at the same time. However, the conservancy has a solution to that. In the fullness of time, they plan to own five tractors.