Bhejane Trust is a Zimbabwe registered trust, based in Victoria Falls and that has been operating for over ten years. The Trust has a very comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, covering all aspects of research, anti-poaching, law enforcement, infrastructure assistance and effectively any support Parks require, covering Hwange National Park, Kazuma Pan National Park, Zambezi National Park and Chizarira National Park.
On the law enforcement side, we offer varying levels of support in the different areas.
Rhino Monitoring and Protection Unit – this unit is based at Sinamatella where there are the remaining Black Rhino in the Hwange Park. The Unit is a joint venture with the Parks authorities where the Trust provides the team leader, the vehicle and the equipment required, and it’s own team of monitors, while Parks supplies selected rangers. The team is highly mobile, and not only does it monitor the remaining rhino, but it is also an effective anti-poaching unit, being responsible for closing down the fish poaching on the Deka River, the illegal charcoal operation bordering the Deka Safari Area, has recovered hundreds of snares and arrested several poachers. There is an urgent requirement to expand this unit, as it is proving the most effective ground coverage in the area, and we have found more rhino then anticipated. This highly motivated unit has provided the model required for the increased protection of the area.
Deployments – Sinamatella and Robins – the Trust generally has the only working vehicles at these two stations, and thus undertake most of the patrol deployments and recoveries, plus reacting to any incidents, and assisting on daily Parks issues such as fire management, area patrols, infrastructure maintenance, etc. We also arrange rations for the patrols, and have assisted with patrol equipment. In the Robins area our vehicle is deployed on extended patrols along the Botswana border – these are mobile patrols, dropping and collecting sticks as they check along the border for elephant poaching incursions.
Reaction Unit – Zambezi National Park – due to the high incidence of incursions of armed poachers from Zambia crossing the upper Zambezi River to transit to Botswana to poach elephant, it is proposed to set up a well trained, highly mobile reaction unit, based out of the Zambezi National Park, to counter the threat from the Zambians. We have arranged funding for ranger training, but are seeking funding to set up the Reaction Unit
Intelligence – the Trust operates closely with Parks Intelligence Unit, and supports the unit through assessment of reward monies for informers, or for Parks officers who have excelled in their duties. This support, funded through an Australian NGO, has proved invaluable and the Parks Intelligence Unit has been extremely effective.
Outside of law enforcement, the Trust also assists Parks on game water supplies – we currently operate 45 waterpoints of which 42 are solar, 2 are windmills and one runs off ZESA. We help on Park management plans, , on infrastructure maintenance, and basically anything within the Parks estates where our assistance is required.