Garamba National Park’s management team and staff have been hard at work since the shocking attack on Park headquarters in Nagero earlier this month, which left ten dead and infrastructure demolished. One ranger and two ranger’s sons are still missing, probably abducted by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army who were responsible for the attack.
Security has been stepped up with the deployment of more troops with UN support. Food rations have been provided to the park rangers and local joint patrols have immediately resumed. Communication links have been re-established, at least on a temporary basis. The extraction of sand, gravel and stones has also been started up again on a large scale, partly to provide immediate income for local communities.
Massive clean-up operations are ongoing among the rubble and ashes of the destroyed infrastructure, while the top priority buildings are being assessed. Most of the vital building equipment and supplies were lost during the attack. It is unknown how long it will be before the park can replace them, especially given the logistical challenges of Garamba.
FFI’s DRC technical advisor on community conservation is currently visiting the FFI projects at the park to assess the needs and activities that need to be carried out for 2009, as well as determine which activities may need to be redesigned to mitigate the impact the attack had on our projects.
We will continue to post updates on the situation on our website. We sincerely hope the security conditions will improve and that park management can return to normal in the coming weeks.
FFI has launched an emergency appeal to provide much needed assistance and ultimately help rebuild the park’s administrative infrastructure.
If you would like to make a donation to the emergency appeal please call Ken Richard on +44 (0)1223 579472 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.