Smith Shikoto - Conservation benefits us now and future generations

Smith Shikoto - Conservation benefits us now and future generations

“We need to continue with our work and those that we leave behind once we’re gone can continue surviving from the natural resources that we have been conserving and benefiting from.” - Smith Shikoto – Manager, Dzoti Conservancy 2020

I learn a lot by working with people from different backgrounds and different levels of expertise. I like managing conflict. This is not an easy task but it’s good when the job gets done. With the job I have, I’m able to pay my children’s school fees, buy them uniforms, and buy food for the house. My family are the people who should understand what conservation is because they are the ones who directly benefit from my salary.

Commercial poaching is low, but there is subsistence poaching. Due to the COVID restrictions, people could not travel to town to get chicken, therefore they resorted to poaching small wildlife such as duiker. We are dealing with the issue by conducting patrols and raising awareness on how poaching takes away from the community’s benefits of wildlife.

In our conservancy we depend on hunting and there has been no business between the conservancy and the professional hunters therefore we cannot generate an income. Without conservation hunting, species such as elephants will increase in the area and this will cause an increase in human-wildlife conflict. Due to COVID-19, we lost two potential hunting clients. The funds from the Conservation Relief, Recovery and Resilient Facility will be used for operational costs and especially for payments of game guard salaries who are at the front line of conservation in our area.

During the lockdown period and the different levels of the State of Emergency in response to COVID, we did not stop with our conservation activities and continued with our patrols to monitor wildlife. We had joint patrols in the Mudumu South Complex where each of the 4 conservancies donated N$ 10 000 and sent three game guards from each conservancy who were part of the patrols that took place in May and June 2020.

Benefits of conservation in Dzoti:

  • Awarded scholarships of up to N$ 50 000 for about 25 students. This amount was to help these learners to pay part of their tuition fees.
  • Assisted with building of the Traditional Authority structure
  • Started with an electrification project in three areas with about 1310 people benefiting
  • Currently building a ranger camp for game guards in the wildlife breeding area so that poachers do not easily have access to the area.

"In Dzoti we have a beautiful landscape with various wildlife and bird species. There is eland that are not common in other conservancies. There are indigenous trees that locals use for medicine such as roots of acacia for coughs and there are trees for food as well, a nice sweet berry called muzinzira in the local language and scientifically known as Berchemia discolour."

Click on a location on the map to access the 'Voices in Conservation' profiles and videos, or browse the thumbnails below.

Tourism improves livelihoods

Environmental Shepherd Maleska Harases is responsible for the protection of wildlife

Fabian Libanda says we depend on nature for everything

For Martha Lambert seeing wildlife and beautiful landscapes makes her day

Beavan Sinvula invites you to Salambala Conservancy

Hiamaundu Hinu on the importance of conserving nature

Isaac Sililo – Field Officer, Sikunga Conservancy

Kachana Mukushi – Game guard making a difference

Jerome Mwilima encourages people to continue protecting wildlife

Abia Kavita - 23 years as a game guard

Calvin Simu of Sikunga Conservancy explains the importance of nature

Hans Fwelimbi discusses how the people of Wuparo live with wild animals

Ella !Hoaes explains how wildlife has changed livelihoods through tourism

Gert Kasupi explains why he loves being a Rhino Ranger

Hofney Hoeb - "Rhinos are our future"

Festus Tjimbi volunteers to monitor wildlife

Kenneth Maplanga describes how tourism is benefitting conservation

Pineas Kasaona explains how patrols by game guards help to counter poaching

Smith Shikoto - Conservation benefits us now and future generations

Allan Silubanga shares his experience