Reflecting back over the year 2009 marked an interesting year in the life of Ingwelala.
Much was achieved in the field:
Three new boreholes were sunk and the long term electrification of the borehole pumps commenced. The selective bush thinning programme progressed well and the initial results of this are evident in the improved grass cover this summer. The upgraded camp fence curtailed many elephant incursions allowing conservation staff to attend to their intended work programme. A final straw to improve the fence by one more notch is to attach two cables to the existing fence structure. This will offer significant resistance to the elephants and compliment the electrical deterrent. The purchasing and transporting of approximately 40 tons of fencing material from the northern reaches of Pafuri was in itself a major challenge and accomplishment.
The considerable decrease in water outage in the camp has allowed the Building Committee (funds permitting) to pursue the option of a substantial upgrade to the administrative complex. This was reported at the recent AGM and the appointed working committee is well on its way to accurately cost the project and bring this to a Special General Meeting later in 2010. Previously it was thought that much of the accrued funds would be spent on the camp’s water reticulation. Keeping elephants out of the camp allows us more options when maintaining our assets.
The company vehicle fleet received its due makeover from accrued provisions. The sand sealing of Argyle Road is a benefit to the vehicles purchased for official “town trips”.
Administratively the satellite internet system was upgraded to WIFI which has benefited the Membership with a free wireless hotspot facility adjacent to Reception.
Incidents that marred a positive year were mostly security related. The Board and management implemented a definitive security plan and a security port folio was added at Director Level. Practically, the employment of Ntomeni Rangers to assist with law enforcement patrols has been immeasurable. Two successful arrests of solar panel thieves have contributed to an incident free final quarter for 2009. The two tracker dogs, Bill and Max, purchased to assist in the field, are showing good progress and leave for formal skills training early in the New Year.
Related to the ongoing security risks is the absence of an appointed Warden and Field Rangers within the Umbabat. To mitigate this, the Share Blocks and Motswari are engaged in forming their own collective representation at the APNR level, through signature to a new constitution and association, to-be-known as Nkhoro. On behalf of Ingwelala I express a huge gratitude to Mr Andre Lombard (Bungalows # 51-53) for driving this process and I thank our neighbouring Share Blocks and Motswari for their continued contributions and cooperation in the workplace.
On behalf of the staff I wish to thank the Membership for our employment and for the generosity you show us through many acts of kindness and consideration during your visits. It is always appreciated. Your Board is well appointed and very able in directing the affairs of Ingwelala. Our collective gratitude is recorded from all of us.
by John Llewellyn