• Songbird Mpho Sebina among voices promoting the Hippo Relief cause
  • Shortage of water inspires community to drill a solar powered borehole


In a quest to save hundreds of hippos affected by water shortage in the village of Nxaraga that lies 20 km from the tourist capital of Maun, the Hippo Pools Relief Fund, Save Wildlife, the Department of Wildlife and members of the community got together and raised enough funds to drill a solar powered borehole.

A bloat of hippos that normally enjoy a full bath had gathered in desperation as water levels in its pools were running low in June this year.
“The Hippo Relief Project was inspired by the shortage of water in the lagoon called ‘Hippo Pools’ located in Nxaraga,” the project’s spokesperson, Mpho Sebina, said in an interview.


Territorial deaths
The songbird has been promoting the cause. “The water levels were low but the hippos immersed themselves in the drying lagoon and fell prey to dehydration and territorial deaths amongst themselves.”

In response, the community of Nxaraga gathered to raise funds to drill a solar borehole. Rallied by one of their own, Loggy O’mara, members of the community created a Go Fund Me campaign to raise funds to drill the borehole that has supplied the pools with water for the survival of the animals.

Said Sebina: “The drilling of the solar borehole is an extremely sustainable solution to the water shortage in the area and we hope the solution is long term. Today, the Nxaraga Hippo Pools are a happy sight as water flows through the pools and we managed to get extra feed for the hippos.”

Home to hippos
Nxaraga is home to more than 100 hippos which survived the worst hydrological drought in 2019. Many hippos and other aquatic species like crocodiles and fish were decimated by the drought. This time around the community and several organisations heeded the call to assist the animals that were dying of thirst and hunger.

“The project was created to specifically relieve the Nxaraga situation,” Mpho Sebina explained. “We are open to collaborating and advice. People can follow the Hippo Pools Relief Project on social media platforms for future updates.”