Nxaraga floods: Hope for hippos

SHARE   |   Thursday, 02 July 2020   |   By Solomon Tjinyeka
Nxaraga floods: Hope for hippos

A glance at Nxaichaa hippo pool, a few kilometers from Nxaraga village introduces you to a bloat of hippopotamus which are always basking and baking in the sun, a stringent eye is needed to see the hippos, as they are camouflaged with the mud found at the pool.

 More than 100 hippos survived the worse hydrological drought which massacred aquatic animals and species such as fish, crocodiles. The drought also wiped out livestock, as some were trapped in the mud until they died, examples of such death traps include muddy waters at lake Ngami. 

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But the good news is that water from Kunyere river has reached Nxaraga this week and are heading to pools and by the end of the week surviving hippos will enjoy a full bath.

Several organizations who heeded the call to assist animals who were drying of thirsty and hunger are also putting their projects to a cessation after spending several months at Nxaraga feeding and providing water to hippos.

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Already the Department of Wildlife and National Parks DWNP has relocated their camping site which was patrolling the areas and guarding the areas. The North West regional wildlife officer, Dimakatso Ntshebe confirmed that they have relocated their camp after water has arrived in Nxaraga. ‘The main aim of the camp was to provide security for the solar panels which were pumping boreholes and now we have removed those solar panel as some people were stealing them,’ he said

Ntshebe stated they have advised organizations such as Save Wildlife Conservation Fund also to remove their solar panels as it will attracts thieves.

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Save Wildlife Conversation Fund assisted to refilled water holes used by hippos using solar energy and currently 46,000 litres are pumped into the basin every 10 hours. Company have just increased waterholes to allow them to freely move as they were congested in one place. The NGO has also stopped feeding them as the country received good rains and they have been feeding from the pasture. 

Kgosi Gaolatlhe Kgosigaenyatswe stated that it is good news that the water has arrives in Nxaraga after the river dried up for the first time in history. ‘It was the first time to witness our pools drying which led to hundreds of hippos dying,’ Kgosigaenyatswe stated

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Kgosi also stated that when the water arrives it will soon fill the Nxaraga hippo pool, and all those hippos at Nxaichai pool will soon relocate to their original habitat such as Nxaraga pool.

  He however added that recently they have been witnessing some hippos relocating to Thamalakane river which is flooding and some of the traces where spotted at Sitatunga which is few kilometers before reaching Maun.

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They are more than more than 75 hippos at the pool and only less than 20 have migrated searching for waters at Thamalakane river.  The hippos have also multiplied, as a new born has been added to the bloat.

Kgosi however, assured after the water arrives in the village, those hippos that migrated will soon return their original habitat as hippos is territorial animal.

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He also stated that of recently, Nxaraga has become a destination of choice as many people are attracted by the presence of hippos. kgosi noted that the village has find a niche and will generate income through tourism activity by charging a small fee for people who come to visit the pools. 

Kgosi also stated looks like the Nxaraga project is coming an end, as water has arrived but has asked Save Wildlife conservation organization to remain behind and come with any income generating projects which will assist the community. ‘You can always stick around and assist us, tell us what to do after this,’ he said

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