The Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve Fence 

The Fence around Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve is our exciting new project for 2010 - 2011.  We need to protect the animals that still live in Mwabvi, and will also be re-introducing other game into this safe and protected wildlife reserve.

The fence will be a 2.6 metre high game fence with a 5 strand offset electrification, which will enable us to keep the BIG 5 in the reserve. The electrification of the fence will be from solar powered units evenly located along the fence line.

The fence will perform two roles - to protect the local communities from the predators that will be released in the wildlife reserve and to protect the game and the trees and vegetation from poachers entering the reserve.  

Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve is a very fragile area, with people and farms encroaching more on every side each year. We have two roads crossing the reserve and until we can build an alternative route around the perimeter of the reserve we cannot stop local people walking through. Keeping the area pristine and the animals safe is not easy, so our answer is to fence Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve. As we develop this, we create a safe environment and we also demonstrate the potential for Mwabvi to attract tourists who want to learn more about this pristine area. The income generated locally by just a small number of tourists is significant and will create jobs, businesses and wider opportunities for the local people and their children.

What do we need?

First and foremost, erect a fence!

Mwabvi WIldlife Reserve covers an area of 135 km2 and needs a game proof fence of around 130 km in length, with solar electrics and 6 maintenance houses around the perimeter. We need a team of men to patrol the perimeter once it is erected, to keep the area on each side of the fence clear of vegetation and repair any breaks in the fence wire as quickly as possible.

We have already spoken with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and the local communities around the wildlife reserve and secured agreements to the idea and the actual plan. The fence line and reserve borders have already been surveyed. The next step is to clear the actual line and the 10 metre buffer zone which also acts as a firebreak and safety zone for animals and people.

After that, we need to bring in the fence from South Africa, including the solar electric system, and the special tools we need. Then a team of around 30 men will erect the fence posts and wire strands. Finally, we add on the five strands of electrification wire and brackets with the six solar panels to supply the power. While we are doing this, we will build the six stations for the maintenance team. Six local men will be trained to maintain the fence line and help with basic repairs. That's another 36 people we will be feeding by employing just 6 new staff members.

The Fence!

This is going to cost us £600,000 for the fence, at today's metal prices. 

 

For more information on the importance of having a fence from experience, please read this article from The Horn, autumn 2009, Save the Rhino International.

thehornautumn2009_15.pdf

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