The Kruger National Park (KNP) in conjunction with South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will demolish Kanniedood dam found on the S50, about 9km south east of Shingwedzi Camp as part of a long term rehabilitation programme from Sunday, 8 until Friday, 20 April 2018. Explosives will be used to demolish the structure; after which the rubble will be removed as part of the rehabilitation process.
“The area around the target structures will be cleared to ensure animals and human beings are safe; all roads in the areas will also be temporarily closed e.g. S50 gravel road will be closed from S50 and S143 junction in Mooiplaas up to S50 and S134 junction in Shingwedzi from 6 to 23 April 2018”, said the General Manager: Communications and Marketing, William Mabasa.
Further safety measures have been put in place as follows:
Working on Fire, SANDF and Ranger teams will be on stand-by to extinguish any wild fires that may arise.
An aerial flight will be dispatched to the area immediately prior to detonation to ensure no tourists may be in the vicinity of target.
“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 water holes 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 water holes. To enhance 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; and this is evident in the change in policy regarding water distribution in the Park” concluded Mabasa.