Voices in Conservation - Jerome Mwilima

Jerome Mwilima
Jerome Mwilima

"In these difficult times I encourage people to continue protecting their wildlife. When COVID is over, tourists can be assured that wildlife in Namibia is still thriving," says Jerome Mwilima, the Manager of Bamunu Conservancy in Zambezi Region.

I love my job as a manager because I get the opportunity to supervise and make sure that things are running smoothly by monitoring game guards and keeping conservancy records up to date. I directly benefit from natural resources through by having a job and receiving an income that I have from which my family benefits as well. I encourage my family to learn more about nature and how to conserve it because without it there would be no jobs and benefits.

In the beginning, poaching incidences were high but have nowreduced because game guards are patrolling the area. Most of the community members are actively taking part in combatting wildlife crime by reporting suspicious activities, this has led to some arrests of the perpetrators. COVID-19 has hindered several activities within the conservancy and there has been no income generation, therefore no benefits to the locals.

The future looks good if we continue protecting our wildlife and forest products. We sell Devil`s Claw and need to sustainably harvest it so that the local harvesters continue to benefit from this forest product. 
There is no river in the conservancy area, this led to the conservancy drilling boreholes for wildlife and putting salt licks at these boreholes. This initiative has increased the number of wildlife such as elephants, zebras, buffalos, impalas, elands, and kudus that are coming into the conservancy.

A meeting was held with all conservancy staff and it was agreed that everyone should continue with their work despite the COVID situation. The conservancy received N$ 180 000 from the Conservation Relief, Recovery and Resilient Facility in July. The funds will mainly be used for game guard salaries who are at the frontline of monitoring the natural resources in the area. The funds will also be used for anti-poaching activities.

"I feel happy when I see that our natural resources are well managed"

Siphiwe Lutibezi
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