The Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) is working hard to ensure the safety of game rangers and their families with two new initiatives that are part of a larger Ranger Wellbeing Programme.
The projects, developed by the GRAA together with Mediwise Safety Services and SATIB insurance brokers, focus on ranger safety in the field, as well as a long-term insurance that covers rangers in the event of an accident and provides assurance for their families.
Game rangers work in high-risk environments where they may encounter dangerous wildlife such as elephant or lion, and can also come across hostile poachers. The Safe Ranger Project provides the necessary first aid training to rangers.
“We will continue to source funding and provide first aid training for as many rangers as funding allows,” says Andrew Campbell, CEO of GRAA.
The second initiative, the Ranger Protect Project, was launched on July 31 and has been in development for nine months leading up to the launch date.
Its aim is to fulfil an identified and longstanding need for the guardians across conservation areas of Africa, says Brandon Ford, Business Development Manager of SATIB.
The Ranger Protect Project is a one-of-a-kind and is customised for game and field rangers. Ford says it includes cover for emergency transport, evacuation, search and rescue costs, some hospitalisation with a 48-hour excess (the first two days are not covered), accident disability cover and accidental death cover.
Funding is expected to come from employers, non-governmental organisations and individuals.
“We hope to have 1 000 rangers covered in the next few months. Long term we hope to ensure that all rangers in Africa have access to adequate insurance cover,” says Campbell.
The Ranger Protect Project has launched in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“We are working hard with our London underwriters to make it available in a further seven countries,” concludes Ford.