Further water assistance given to de Rust community and wildlife by replacing stolen water pump

At the beginning of 2019, Land Rover Owners Namibia (LRON) undertook the installation of a water installation and borehole to the value of N$ 230 00.00 in order to assist the Community of de Rust with their livestock as well as providing water to the wild animal population in the Ugab area.

Sadly we had to inform our stake holders recently that the solar pump had been stolen and all indications are, that it was removed from the borehole by a community member. While the Namibian Police are not getting to the bottom of this saga, a private investigation is ongoing and a N$ 5000.00 reward is on the table if the pump can be recovered. Our contention is that we do not want to charge the culprit that removed the pump but rather need to know to who it
was sold to. What is alarming is that in our opinion the De Rust community knows who removed the pump but refuses to reveal the culprit. This, while the community has no water for own use and also, their animals do not have drinking water.

As this installation had also been initiated for the elephants and wild animals, the spin off was that the community would also benefit from this project. As a result of the water installation being breached, the elephants had to cover a huge distance to the next available water and the community had to drive 20 km to fill their canisters with water.

After due consideration and the adamant insistence of one our LRON member in Uis, who is in charge of LRON environmental projects, we entertained the possibility of purchasing a new pump for the installation. Consequently, LRON negotiated with our partner DIS Engineering, who immediately agreed to supply a pump at a discounted price and also sponsored a security trap to the value of N$ 18 000.00 excluding labour; and which would ensure that the
new pump would not be able to be removed by unauthorised persons.

Land Rover Owners Namibia initiated a collection drive to fund the pump and within a matter of hours DelHra, LRON and a number of other private parties, stake holders and institutions – including the German company that sponsored the initial pump – all dug in and provided the unecessary funds. It was amazing to experience the willingness of the parties to ensure that the wild life at De Rust have water.

DIS Engineering put together a number of willing employees who, together, formed a formidable team and before you could say “Bob’s your uncle” this team arrived in Uis. The next morning as all equipment was being checked to ensure a smooth operation the DIS team realised that in their rush they forgot to load the pump. This posed no problem for the
DIS Engineering team. One phone call to the owner of DIS Engineering and he agreed to fly the pump from Otjiwarongo to Uis. Within two hours the plane landed and a contingent of nature lovers accompanied DIS Engineering to the De Rust water installation.

On arrival this team came alive and by the afternoon the pump was installed and pumping water and the security trap was cast and ready. It was really unbelievable to see this team in action, especially considering that none of them were paid for their efforts. It was a gesture of goodwill.

The minute the water started pouring into the dam that EHRA built on a previous occasion, the community started arriving at the installation to fill their canisters with water. What a site to see! That night the contingent made camp and the next morning the safety lock was fitted and the pump secured.

A follow up visit was made by local LRON members some days later. They were rewarded with the sighting of no less than sixteen elephants drinking from the dam. This fact made all efforts by the parties involved worth every cent and the sweat that was poured out at the De Rust water installation by the DIS Engineering team was not done in vain.

It is really amazing what can be done when a group of willing people work together. The very sad thing is that in this case the De Rust community allow an individual to jeopardize their life line water supply.

Land Rover Owners Namibia (LRON) not only organises training- and off-road events, it also places emphasis on social responsibility, supporting environmental, humanitarian and wildlife efforts. Land Rover Owners Namibia (LRON) is open to owners of Land Rovers of any model and owners of other 4X4 makes.

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