Half a million raised through Brandberg climb

Working towards peaceful coexistence

27 September 2021 | Environment

Rachel Harris; Managing director; “The money we raised will help us cover operational costs...”

Brandberg



The Elephant Human Relations Aid (EHRA) team recently raised N$500 000 for their elephant conservation work, after climbing Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg.

EHRA began preparing in March to reach Brandberg’s highest peak. However, the team had to recover from various personal setbacks before the fundraising adventure became to reality.

According to the team, porters from Uis dropped 200 litres of water at the first camp.

Seth Ga’aseb from the National Heritage Council guided the group up the mountain, making the hike possible.

International and national supporters as well as EHRA sponsored the team members. This enabled the team to reach its goal of raising N$500 000 to continue its conservation work.

The NGO works to ease conflict between elephants and people in the northern Erongo and southern Kunene regions.

According to EHRA’s managing director, Rachel Harris, the organisation was severely affected by Covid-19.

“We generate 90% of our funds through volunteering and tourism initiatives, which was a sustainable financing strategy – until the borders closed.”

As conflict with elephants continued to increase, the NGO was needed more than ever and could not stop its work.

“We have had to get creative to keep EHRA alive! This includes new partnerships with international foundations, new merchandise campaigns and ultimately, challenging the whole team to climb to the peak of Brandberg to raise money.”

According to Harris, the money that was raised will help the organisation cover its operational costs for the next few months.

Thankfully, the NGO managed to keep all team members employed.

It took two days for the group comprising 12 team members to reach Königstein (2 573m above sea-level) via the steep Ga’aseb gorge and one day to come back down.

“It was a huge physical challenge, but incredible team work made it possible for us to complete the challenge. Knowing we were in it together put me at ease. I think I have a new found respect for the team and the work we do,” said conservation programs assistant, Anna Sheehama.

The NGO aims to continue with commitments towards conservation by applying a holistic approach to mitigating human-elephant conflict, increasing rural communities’ ability to peacefully coexist with the giants and working to conserve Namibia’s wild elephants for future generations.

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