The Southern African Wildlife College team was excited to receive five containers from Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and three from DP World, global trade enabler, through the support of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
“These containers are a great addition to our facilities on campus and will be used to enhance our ability to deliver on our mandate as a centre of specialisation in conservation education, training and skills development,” said College CEO, Theresa Sowry.
The DP World containers, transported all the way from the company’s headquarters in the UAE, have been designed and altered to serve as self-sufficient units for ranger accommodation, storage of supplies and office-type accommodation.
These three containers are fully equipped, with hybrid solar power systems that were installed on site by skilled technicians who travelled to the College from Dubai. They have fans, internal lights, external security lights, plug points and extractor fans. Two were fitted with office furniture, 55- inch Sony televisions and shelving. The third was kitted out with bunk beds, cupboards and additional shelving. This unit will be used as accommodation for a dog handler when on duty. The other two have been placed at the ranger camp and on the main campus of the College and will be used as project offices.
The containers from MSC will be used as a storeroom for the rifle range (which is used for the armed training component of both field rangers and field guides), a kitchen and break room at the K9 Unit, a higher education and training archive, and two prototype accommodation units, replacing some old tents.
“As part of its industry-leading role to help protect the world’s critically endangered wildlife, global trade enabler DP World is proud to support the SAWC’s efforts to equip people with qualifications to manage complex ecosystems, conserve wildlife and empower local communities,” said Daniel van Otterdijk, SVP Group Communications.
“We are very proud to be associated with the College through the donation of these containers,” said Cobus Liefbroer, the MSC representative, who was on hand to ensure their safe transport and arrival. “Bringing the containers into a wildlife area, which is also home to a training institution of this magnitude, really illustrated just how fortunate the students are to be training in-situ in Big 5 territory.”
The College, which is located within the Greater Kruger National Park, plays a vital role in equipping conservation professionals with the skills, knowledge and experience they need to be effective in their roles in protected areas throughout Africa. With a focus on training beyond boundaries, it is creating much needed capacity in the SADC region and beyond. As a non-profit organisation, the College relies on donations to support infrastructure development on campus, ensuring that valuable funds go to providing students with critical skills.