A solar-powered 'Meerkat' is protecting South Africa's rhinos
17 February 2020
Mere weeks after Cyclone Idai left tens of thousands of people displaced and over 1 000 people deceased, Cyclone Kenneth, the strongest cyclone in the country’s history, made landfall in northern Mozambique on 21 April 2019. An estimated 35 000 people more were affected, with 41 deaths reported and 38 health centres damaged. Over 30 000 ha of crops were completely destroyed, and there are currently 20 000 people living in shelters.
A group of 15 rangers have subsequently been deployed from Limpopo and Zinave national parks, as well Maputo Special Reserve, to aid those affected by Cyclone Kenneth in the Quirimbas area.
At the moment we are not sure what the situation is, because all communication systems are down. We will, however, be sending the team with as much supplies as we can transport in two 4×4 vehicles and a 4×4 truck.
Dr Bartolomeu Soto, Peace Parks Foundation’s Country Coordinator in Mozambique
The rangers, who are employed by Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC), have been mobilised through the support provided by Peace Parks Foundation. They will embark on a three-day journey over 2 500 km of very difficult and unpredictable terrain. Upon arrival in the Cabo Delgado province, they will report to the Provincial Director’s office, who is coordinating the relief efforts.
One of the main concerns at the moment is for the people living in villages along the coastline who are completely cut off from aid efforts because continuous rain and heavy flooding have caused extensive damage to road networks. The 4×4 vehicles will be used to try and get to these areas to help people stranded there, either by transporting them to shelters or delivering much-needed relief aid. Although they will be working in extremely difficult and unpredictable conditions, the rangers are well-prepared to assist in any way they can.