On Wednesday, 18 April 2018, four (4) farmworkers each received a financial reward for their brave and courageous act and contribution that led to the arrest of three (3) suspected rhino poachers. The arrest of the suspected rhino poachers in the Omaheke Region over the Easter weekend by farm workers is testimony of Namibians’ bold and courageous stand to protect our environment and its wildlife, in particular the endangered rhino specie.
Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group - and Help our Rhino NOW.Namibia (HoRN.nam) (both supporters of the Intelligence Support Against Poaching - ISAP), collectively availed funding to reward the individuals who provided information that led to the arrest of the three (3) suspects. Jaco Muller, Chairman of HoRN.nam expressed their gratitude to the farmworkers who took action and apprehended the criminals: “Their action represents the type of mentality we need to strive for as Namibian citizens, to do the right thing and stop any type of crime, rather than passively ignoring or becoming part of illegal practices. We need to stand up for our country and national heritage by fighting wildlife crime. We salute these 4 individuals for their brave, unselfish act and want to congratulate and reward them for their good work. We as HoRN.nam want each and every Namibian to know that the reward and satisfaction for doing good will be far greater than a reward promised by crime syndicates.”
NBL Marketing Manager, Rene Duffy: “NBL’s involvement in the national fight against rhino poaching is simply testament of our passion and commitment to the O&L Group purpose of ‘Creating a future, enhancing life’, which also includes preserving the unique landscape and wildlife of Namibia. In fact, two (2) years ago, NBL through our Windhoek Lager brand availed N$ 1 million as incentive to encourage the general public to provide tip-offs leading to the arrest of rhino poachers through the Blow-the-Horn-on-Rhino-Poaching campaign. Furthermore, we have for the past three (3) years proudly supported ISAP by strengthening its operations with an annual sponsorship of N$100,000 as well as the sponsorship of an aeroplane that would enhance their ability in curbing the sad act of poaching. We are thus very proud and excited to reward these four individuals for the stand they have made in contributing to curbing the act of rhino poaching which has been a national concern for many years now. As a proudly Namibian company, committed to the future of our beautiful country and its natural heritage, NBL will continue to support where necessary, to make sure Namibia and its beautiful and unique environmental attributes still live and grow for generations to come.”
Fritz Kaufmann, Director of ISAP said: “NBL and HoRN.nam availed funding to individuals who provided information about persons who either engage in the act of rhino-poaching, have rhino horn in their possession or are part of a syndicate of rhino horn smuggling. Previously these reward monies would only be presentable on conviction and subsequent sentencing of the poachers. Together with our partners, HoRN.nam and NBL, we would rather reward an individual/s who are responsible for the prevention of the act of poaching as opposed to the actual poaching having taken place. The prevention of a poaching incident far outweighs the consequences of the death of any animal in a poaching related act. To this end we commend the efforts of the 4 individuals who showed the courage and fortitude to provide the information which swiftly resulted in the arrest of the suspects and the confiscation of incriminating evidence, namely being their ‘tools of trade’. This certainly prevented the wounding or death of another one of our rhinos!”
“Our collaboration with NBL & HoRN.nam once again illustrates the need for likeminded organizations to work together in unison. To this end, ISAP encourages and is supportive to work with organisations and authorities in formulating common goals to combat poaching and all associated crimes. This collaboration can only strengthen and better equip those that are in the forefront to not only apprehend poachers and syndicates but to stamp out the tide of poaching in a significant way”, concluded Kaufmann.
Sometimes all it takes is a single person’s commitment and determination to make a difference and positive impact in support of initiatives aimed at preserving and securing the future of Namibia and its heritage. Then again, imagine the power and impact more than one (1) person with the same drive and commitment can have. As for these four (4) Namibians - the heroes of the day – this heroic act has contributed to securing the future of the rhino and Namibian tourism as a whole!