Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, our dedicated Akashinga Rangers achieved excellent results in 2021.
We ran a total of 208 operations in the areas we protect and deploy patrol missions. As a result of successfully executing these operations, we were able to contribute to a total of 351 arrests, confiscate 11 illegal weapons from poachers, destroy 341km of illegal monofilament fishing net found along the Zambezi Valley and impound 99 boats.
Further to this, 202 elephant tusks were recovered, 32 pangolins were recovered and 259 snares were also removed to ensure the protection of the animals.
Our team recovered a total of 20 animal skins including skins from Kudu, Lion, Leopard, Crocodile, Python, Duiker, Buffalo, Civet, Cheetah, several of which are highly coveted species for their unique skin.
Zero elephants were recorded to have been lost in 2021, indicating a significant decrease in the poaching activities of this precious animal throughout the concessions we patrol.
The above results reflect the positive impact of our Akashinga Rangers and highlight the growing power of our force and areas under our protection.
The district areas patrolled by the rangers include Hurungwe District, which has three concessions (Nyaodza, Phundundhu, Mukwichi), Binga District which has one concession (Songo) and Kariba District which has one concession (Nyaminyami).
For the first time, we were able to deploy rangers in Mukwichi, an area that is still new under our operations. In November alone, 13 rangers were deployed in Mukwichi for 21 days, resulting in four arrests from this region.
Similar to the Mukwichi area, Nyaodza and Nyaminyami also fall under new concessions that we protect, with the Nyaminyami area set to begin operations soon.
As a way of thanking our rangers for their tremendous efforts and looking after their health and wellbeing, we introduced a wellness program called Tree of Life.
We ran trauma healing workshops at the main Akashinga training wing from the 16th to 24th November.
We had nine facilitators from Harare and IAPF instructors who assisted with the coordination of the course; a total of 78 Akashinga women received training.
The content of the workshops outlined life’s journey with its challenges and successes at different stages as resembled by a tree as an analogy.
The workshop also incorporated individual counseling, team building, social nights and group assignments. Participants had time to open up and relate their lives to lessons learned in order to help themselves from the bondage of previous traumatizing experiences.
This year our goal is to ensure more Akashinga Rangers have access to these trauma healing workshops and continue our mission to train more rangers and protect more land.