Elephant-Human Relations Aid (EHRA) Namibia exists since 2003 to proactively and holistically solve human-elephant conflicts to secure the long-term survival of Namibia’s free-roaming desert and non-desert elephant populations.
EHRA strives to identify all elements that spark intolerance and conflicts between people and elephants and to systematically implement projects that remove or lessen these elements. We aim to make living with elephants bearable as a first step toward helping communities secure their livelihoods, reducing fear and intolerance, and promoting a peaceful, mutually beneficial relationship between people and elephants. EHRA’s pillars of conservation are: Elephant Monitoring, Practical Conflict Solutions and Rural Empowerment.
Find out more at ehranamibia.org
Empowers Africa has partnered with Elephant-Human Relations Aid in order to provide a cost-effective solution to fundraising in the United States by acting as their fiscal sponsor. Any donations made here will be granted to Elephant-Human Relations Aid.
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Elephant-Human Relations Aid Campaigns
Elephant Safety Training for Communities
The P.E.A.C.E. (People and Elephants Amicably Co-Existing) Project is EHRA’s elephant education branch that teaches rural residents about how to peacefully live side by side with the free roaming elephants. We teach community members the importance of elephant conservation, how to protect farms and homesteads, understanding elephant behavior, and how to stay safe during encounters. The aim of the project is to reduce fear, intolerance, and aggression towards elephants and empower community members to actively mitigate conflicts themselves. Once people learn to appreciate elephants and know how to keep themselves and their property safe, conflict can be avoided, fewer complaints about elephants will be made and, as elephants are increasingly tolerated, fewer problem elephant hunting permits will be issued by the government.
Sustainability, Environmental Education and Development
Conservation of the natural environment and biodiversity is a global concern as well as very much a national one. Namibia is in a critical time where environmental issues threaten development and the quality of life of its people. Some key threats in rural areas include deforestation, poverty and inequality, poor waste management, climate change, and a lack of awareness. Through the S.E.E.D. Program we aim to nurture the next generation of conservation champions and to empower and equip them to positively influence the environment, and to enable rural development through environmentally friendly practices. We will offer 5-day fun-based Environmental Education courses designed to fit into the National School Curriculum to ensure that rural learners become aware, sensitive, and responsive to the needs of their environment.
Elephant Corridor Project
Connecting landscapes and restoring elephant migration paths
Jointly with the Namibian government and the Namibia University of Science and Technology, EHRA’s Elephant Corridor Project looks at the routes elephants use crossing over communal and commercial private lands to migrate between dry and wet season home ranges and envisions protecting and reopening those. This includes providing conflict-affected residents with realistic and innovative mitigation options, such as Early Elephant Alerts and elephant-migration-friendly fencing options. Using satellite collars, camera traps, and direct observations, the project aims to conduct accurate elephant population counts and create individual profiles for herds and bulls to ensure sustainable population management, and to explore home range shift and population interconnectivity. The overall goal of the Corridor Project is to enable elephants to safely migrate across human-dominated landscapes whilst minimizing conflict-related financial damages.
Solar Water Pump Project
Relieving the financial burden of living with elephants
Farmers usually pump water with diesel pumps. Diesel prices not only rise constantly but obtaining it can require a journey of more than 20km one way. Most residents don‘t own a car, so they either hitch-hike or drive via donkey-cart to transport diesel in containers. In many cases, pensioners do not get more than N$1200 (USD 90) in pension per month. An adult elephant can drink 150-200 liters of water at any one time – this can deplete their water reserves, and rural people and livestock suffer. We, therefore, decided to replace diesel water pumps with solar water pumps in villages suffering from frequent elephant visits. This greatly reduces the financial burden of living with elephants and creates a more peaceful cohabitation. Villagers who received a solar pump have greatly changed their perception of elephants.
Elephant Guard Program
Empowering communities to take ownership of conflicts and solutions
The Elephant Guards are local people from conservancies in our expanded project area who receive special training and equipment to lead efforts in combating conflict between humans and elephants on communal land. The elephant guard program is key to sustainable human-elephant conflict management as it empowers communities to take charge of conflict solutions themselves. We train Elephant Guards in every conservancy we work with, to become the local elephant experts, elephant-emergency responders, and elephant educators. Elephant Guards will inform residents about approaching elephants and encourage villages to implement the learned mitigation strategies. Overall, the Elephants Guards exist to safeguard people and elephants and ensure both can thrive despite the coexistence challenges.
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