Wildlife » Save the Rhino Trust / Rhino Hotline

 

   
Contact Details:  
Tel:

+264-64-403829

Field Office at Mai Go Ha +264-67-697014
Fax: +264-64-400166
address: PO Box 2159
Swakopmund, NAMIBIA
e-mail:

srt@rhino-trust.org.na

Website: http://savetherhinotrust.org

The SMS Hotline enables the public to anonymously tip-off authorities about suspicious activities that threaten rhino and the safety of Namibia’s wildlife. Sending an sms is free. All information is confidential. Please send an alert sms to 55555.

LET’S PROTECT OUR COUNTRY, LET’S PROTECT OUR RHINOS!


MET/ MTC launch Rhino Security SMS hotline

The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, officially launched a new SMS hotline that will help protect Namibia’s rhinos and other natural heritage. This hotline has been set up by the Directorate of Scientific Services, in partnership with MTC.

“Rhinos, specifically the black rhino, are Namibia’s flagship species. Namibia is a world leader in rhino conservation, and we are extremely proud of this achievement,” Hon Nandi-Ndaitwah told a media conference.

The Minister stated that ‘both consumptive and non-consumptive use of rhino significantly contribute to the economic development and the improvement in the livelihoods of all of our people’.

She explained that rhinos were once plentiful across the African plains, as well as in Namibia. But poaching has drastically reduced numbers worldwide, with animals killed for their horns. It is thus important that they are protected.

“We are aware that despite international legislation and domestic bans on trade in rhino horn, rhino are still under threat from poachers who believe they can make money easily from selling their horn.

“Our best weapon against poachers is you, the public. You are the eyes and ears of the nation. Poaching will affect your life. Rhino poaching will steal from you and your family. It will rob you financially and spiritually. We are the generation that is the custodians of these, God’s remarkable creatures. And we must protect them.

“I therefore want to make it very clear. Here, in Namibia, we have zero tolerance for poaching. Those who are caught will face harsh penalties.”

The Minister described rhino as ‘the golden geese’ that attract tourists to Namibia.

Tourism is one of the key contributors to our Gross Domestic Product, and gives direct income to individuals and communities, she added. The world-famous Okaukuejo waterhole in Etosha National Park is a well-known place to view rhino, while studies have shown that nearly half of tourists visiting Kunene Region go there to view either desert-dwelling rhino or elephant.

“Rhinos are a tourist magnet, bringing with them income and foreign exchange. This creates jobs, improves rural livelihoods, and alleviates poverty.

“I want to reiterate to our people that our rhinos are worth far more alive than dead. Take those rhino away and the golden goose is killed forever,” she stated.

In light of poaching in neighbouring countries, Hon Nandi-Ndaitwah stated that the MET had put measures in place to ensure proper protection of rhinos and other specially protected species. These include:

· Expert training of Ministry of Environment and Tourism staff in tracking, law enforcement, weapons handling and crime scene investigation

· Implementation of sophisticated monitoring programmes and a database, in partnership with NGOs such as Save the Rhino Trust

· The development of regional rhino security strategies following a national workshop, involving many stakeholders

· The immobilisation of hundreds of rhinos, which have been fitted with transmitters to alert authorities should an animal be dormant or disappear for a few hours

· The establishment of an inter-ministerial committee to help advice and assist in the combating of poaching and to investigate cases should they occur.

Several other measures could not be revealed due to security reasons.

At the same occasion, MTC’s Chief Corporate Affairs and Human Capital officer, Tim Ekandjo, stated that MTC’s support helped provide a platform for members of Namibian communities to alert the authorities on potential poachers or people who kill our wildlife without authorisation.

“While we view it as a humble contribution, we hope that the establishment of the SMS platform and the usage thereof will discourage potential poachers from engaging in these cowardly activities of poaching”.

He expressed MTC’s appreciation to the Minister and her team of dedicated officials for protecting the environment and promoting tourism.

The Hon. Minister sincerely thanked MTC for supporting the hotline, stating that the company had set ‘an excellent example for the private sector in caring for our natural heritage’. She also thanked WWF for their support and sponsorship of posters and a booklet.

The Hon Minister also thanked MET staff for conserving wildlife for the benefit of current and future generations; the media for ongoing support and communities and conservancies for their dedication and assistance.

MET is working closely with the Namibian police, Interpol, conservation authorities in South Africa and other countries, as well as with international organisations such as TRAFFIC International. Local partners include Save the Rhino Trust, Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation and NACSO, regional councils, traditional authorities, rural communities, conservancies, lodges, and tour operators.

The Ministry will soon distribute posters across the country advertising the hotline, will make a brochure available and will feature rhino at their stand at the forthcoming Tourism Expo in Windhoek during June.

The SMS Hotline enables the public to anonymously tip-off authorities about suspicious activities that threaten rhino and the safety of Namibia’s wildlife. Sending an sms is free. All information is confidential. Please send an alert sms to 55555.

LET’S PROTECT OUR COUNTRY, LET’S PROTECT OUR RHINOS!

 

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