KNP: Dam to be flattened

Kanniedood Dam in the Kruger National Park (KNP) will be demolished.

The KNP, in conjunction with South African National Defence Force (SANDF), will use explosives to demolish the structure, after which the rubble will be removed as part of the rehabilitation process. This action forms part of a long-term rehabilitation programme and will be executed between April 8 and 20.

“The area around the target structures will be cleared to ensure animals and human beings are safe and all roads in the areas will also be temporarily closed,”said KNP general manager of communications and marketing, William Mabasa.

Further safety measures include the presence of Working on Fire, SANDF and ranger teams to extinguish any wildfires that may arise. An aerial flight will be dispatched to the area immediately prior to detonation to ensure no tourists remain in the vicinity of the dam.

“KNP has been closing artificial water points for a decade now, with the last being Ngotso Dam, Ngotso Weir and Gudzani Windmill in December 2016.

Artificial waterholes, where water did not previously occur naturally, have led to numerous ecological problems such as erosion and other environmental degradation. This also resulted in a negative consequence for the rare herbivore species such as roan and sable antelope, increasing grazing competition by the more abundant herbivores,” explained Mabasa.

Conservation management has taken steps to rectify these negative consequences by closing and demolishing certain artificial waterholes. To enhance the tourist experience, alternative game viewing opportunities will be provided at areas of naturally occurring surface water.

“With the continuous research data at our disposal, we have gradually changed our outlook on biodiversity management over the years. With this data available, policies and procedures can be revisited and revised. This is evident in the change in policy regarding water distribution in the park,” Mabasa concluded.

 

Also read: https://hazyviewherald.co.za/221161/knp-no-go-area-drones/

  AUTHOR
Hazyview Herald

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