Dave Kangombe of the Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) lauded the researchers, students and the leadership from NUST, as well as the European Union (EU), for steering and funding the initiative for the past three years.
“This project opened our eyes and minds on the usefulness of technology in aiding conservation efforts and helping us to effectively manage our ecosystem. We can now monitor our environment and also our game. When we need to apply for hunting licenses, we will know how many wildlife we have in our conservancies”, Kangombe elaborated.
Mutjindika Mutambo, the Headman from Omuhonga village, said that the initiative was useful in the sense that it assisted them to track wildlife, and now they know that there are giraffes and mountain zebras in their area by utilising and viewing camera trap visuals and drone footage.
“This project was important to us since it preserves and digitally stores our culture. I was told that funding will end soon and I appeal to government and the EU to continue supporting the project,” he said.
Kataeko Nangunda, one of the female participants from Epupa said that the fair provided her with knowledge and better understanding of the local environment. “I can now record, take pictures of our trees, different types of vegetation and our mountains, and share this data through the Internet. When tourists come to visit our area, I will also be better equipped with knowledge to explain our different vegetation and animals. I can now foresee myself as a tour guide in the future,” she said.