On behalf of all the Ingwelala staff, I take this early opportunity to wish each of our Christian Members a blessed and peaceful Christmas period, and all a prosperous 2015.
For those travelling, take special care on the roads. The staff are also grateful to you for all the support and encouragement you continue to lend us; we thank you sincerely for another productive year in the life of magical Ingwelala.
Reflecting back on the year 2014 I think it is safe to say a relatively quiet year in terms of no major environmental forces interruptions! The last remaining chore to restore the damaged septic tanks was successfully completed, and once again the company can embark on new projects.
The upgrade to Vuka Ingwe is one such example, where four new single quarters were built, immediately providing opportunity for eight staff previously sharing accommodation, to now enjoy their individual and private accommodation space. It is planned for the second identical unit to be constructed mid 2015.
The Boardan alysed in detail the results of the 2013 Member Survey, and together with management addressed the priority needs that were reported to at the recent AGM. A comprehensive risk review was undertaken and detailed in a formally adopted Risk Document. Much focus was given to finalizing and adopting the new federal system in the Umbabat, recognizing the Nkorho Private Nature Reserves Association and the Umbabat West Conservation Association. Through the monthly Reserve Report, the quarterly subject header “From the Board” was initiated to promote positive information sharing on subjects of general interest and attention, this in addition to the key interest areas the Chairman messages from time to time.
Thank you to the Directors who unselfishly give up so much of their personal time to serve on the Board, an unacknowledged job at times, but Ingwelala would not function without you, so thank you!
In the field, the progress on the sodic site and nutrient hotspot trials continued to be monitored as did the commencement of herbicide trials on a test site affecting 70 mopani trees. In the April 2014 Reserve Report the ongoing veld rehabilitation work at Wahlberg Plains was described extensively. Many readers offered positive feedback and requested more information of a similar nature going forward.
Further educational offerings on the conservation of fauna and flora which you encounter on Ingwelala were represented through articles on the Fever Tree, the Sjambok pod tree, the Nile crocodile, Processionary moths, the African elephant, Aloes and Fire flies.
The rekindled guided walks that our Conservation Manager leads have become very popular with several repeat “trailists” and remain highly recommended.
The baboon euthanasia was a sad day in our 31 year history and a recurrence of such an intervention must be avoided, by humans simply behaving in such a manner that there is no association between man and food and dwellings and food.
On the social media side, the Unofficial Ingwelala Face book has been well supported and continues to be a positive place to comment and share your Ingwelala experiences.
The Sleeping Beauty statue returned home to Ingwelala and at the time of writing is fully restored. Our sincere thanks to the Botes family for their kindness, understanding and agreeing to us having her back home.
The book Ingwelala – The First 30 Years, authored by Ron Hopkins and launched at the 2014 AGM is a wonderful account of Ingwelala’s journey thus far. Thank you to all of you who contributed to its making.
In closing we remember those in our community who lost loved ones through the year, knowing their Ingwelala memories continue to live on.
by John Llewellyn