We always talk about how important water is for humankind and the challenges we face with water security, while often forgetting that this pressure is also felt by wild creatures. Clean water is imperative for the survival of not only our species but every living creature on our planet: so we at AAS have long been examining different ways to support our environment, our wildlife and those who work so hard to protect it.
Janush Axmann, an old friend of Naweed's from primary school, dropped by for a visit one Sunday afternoon on his way to his family farm in Morogoro. It had been some years since they had seen one another and there was a lot to catch up on, however the conversation quickly flowed to conservation, with Janush also being avid outdoorsmen. They spoke about the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary within the Mkomazi National Park, how Janush's family had a lodge there and were assisting with a number of challenges in the conservation area while working with TANAPA, one in particular was the massive issue the park was facing with water for the Rhinos.
Availability of water for wildlife in Tanzania National Parks has been severely impacted by the effects of climate change and anthropogenic factors stemming from the fact that most of the water catchments are located outside the parks. The Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary within Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania lacks a permanent water supply and faces particular challenges in the driest months (July to October) to ensure that the black rhinos inside the Sanctuary receive their required daily drinking water. Rhinos also rely on wallowing in mud to protect themselves from biting flies and sunburn. In these months, a daily roundtrip of 90 km (54 miles) by truck and bowser provides the critical water supply for the rhino sanctuary.
A permanent water supply would reduce overheads greatly and support the preservation of this iconic and critically endangered species. Not only this, installation of water points would also provide potable water to the villagers and rangers in the area. Mkomazi National Park is part of one of the world’s largest and most ecologically important networks of protected areas known as the Greater Tsavo Ecosystem. Some of Africa’s most stunning wildlife call Mkomazi home. The transboundary parks are a particularly critical landscape for elephants, which migrate between Mkomazi in Tanzania to Tsavo West and other conservancies in Kenya. Without both sides protected, one of the world’s biodiversity strongholds lies at risk. Thankfully, both Tanzania and Kenya have incredible national park systems with dedicated rangers on the ground.
We decided that we must do something to help and we saw the opportunity to develop a relationship with TANAPA and the general conservation community in Tanzania by showcasing our innovative solutions. Naweed visited the park and take some of our amazing products from LifeSaver, Purifaaya and Portatank to contribute to the efforts in reducing the impact of cost, time and security of water for both the Rhinos and the people devoted to their protection.
We donated LifeSaver portable water filters to the park rangers for their patrols, removing the burden of carrying heavy water on long walks, the game scouts can now filter water on demand from the same drinking sources as the animals. We contributed one of our Viva Purifaaya ceramic filters for the entry gate staff and guests checking into the park, more of these would ensure no need to carry plastic bottles into the reserve area anymore. Our final donation would assist in reducing the frequency of trips to deliver water to the Rhino's per day, this came in the form of one of our 10,000L water storage tanks.
The TANAPA #NoMorePlastic Campaign was the brainchild of our Managing Director, who has always been a conservationist and bush lover at heart. The basis of this campaign is to leave our natural environment in the pristine condition in which we found it. Plastic is no longer needed when we have filter systems in place and so why should we allow them to enter our areas of ultimate protection?
AAS as a company is fully devoted to our natural environment and conservation of our wildlife. Some of our LifeSaver Jerrycans are in trial with the game ranger protecting the chimpanzees in DRC and we are in talks with TAWA to assist their scouts with clean water solutions for both patrols, fly camps and their base camps. Just last month we participated in the Beach Cleaning Day with Love The Environment & Kiwi Media. Our Purifaaya range of filters is a carbon negative product and is directly contributing to the fight against deforestation. AAS is reducing fuel high fuel consumption related to moving water storage tanks through Africa.
We are always looking for new ways and opportunities to do our part for the environment, so we welcome all to chat with us on our new WhatsApp Business about any ideas you may have and what conservation projects you are passionate about! You can follow the link above or scan the QR code below.
Naweed Mulla - Managing Director for AAS
Janush Axmann - Landscape Ecology And Nature Conservation International
Author - James Bruce Taylor - Head of Aid & Marketing Director for AAS