Friends of Hwange was formed on the back of the extreme drought of 2005 that severely affected Hwange National Park. The National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe, plagued by lack of funding and a decrease in tourist arrivals, did not have the funding to keep enough borehole pumps going. As a result, only a handful of waterholes had water. Countless animals died of thirst. Hwange National Park has no perennial rivers and very little natural surface water. Today most of the water has to be pumped from boreholes in order to sustain the current animal populations. Since its inception in October 2005, the Trust has been responsible for 10 waterholes in Hwange National Park. This has involved raising funds to purchase diesel as well as repairing and maintaining the diesel engines, boreholes and troughs.
Short Term: Crisis management: To ensure that FOH does every thing in its power to prevent animal deaths owing to lack of water or poaching activities. To assist National Parks in carrying out their duties in terms of deployment of rangers on anti-poaching duties as well as maintenance of roads and fireguards in the park.
Long term: To work towards a situation where there are sufficient well-distributed waterholes in Hwange National Park pumping water through eco-friendly cost-effective means such as solar and wind power. This will remove pressure on areas of the park where animal (especially elephant) traffic is high which causes long term destruction of grazing areas. To expand our efforts in conservation issues such as anti-poaching and research.