On May 29th 2021 Niassa Special Reserve (NSR) Headquarters received a delegation from the US Embassy in Mozambique, composed of the following:
· Colonel Fergal O’Reilly – Defense Attaché;
· Robert S. Elliot – Assistant Defense Attaché;
· Patrick S. Gan – Environment, Science and Technology Attaché of the Embassy's Department of Policy and Economics; and
· Three aircrew members.
The purpose of the visit was to learn about the activities carried out in the Niassa Special Reserve, especially Law Enforcement, Community Development and Infrastructure. They visited all the infrastructure of the Reserve, from offices, workshops to accommodation camps for scouts and support staff.
The delegation made a special visit to the Lugenda Health Center, located at Mussoma town, District of Mecula which culminated with the presentation of a Tuc-Tuc Ambulance, medical supplies, a stretcher and cleaning products to the medical Centre. This donation was financed by the Spirit of America (SoA) and the US Department of Defense, as part of the social solidarity activities for disadvantaged communities that they carry out in many countries.
The product delivery ceremony was facilitated by the Luwire Wildlife Conservancy, a tour operator that manages REN's Block L7, where the Lugenda Health Center is located. Luwire Wildlife Conservancy is engaged in the construction of a n additional ward at the Lugenda Health Center that will serve as a Casa-Mãe-Espera and other social projects for the communities. The ambulance will serve not only the Mussoma community, but also other nearby communities such as Mucoria, Nansanja and Manhuir.
Present at the delivery of the ambulance and other hospital materials were members of the Government of the District of Mecula, headed by the Permanent Secretary, Júlio Guente, NSR representatives (Program Director, Nilton Cuna and Operations Director Peter Trevor), Representatives of Luwire Wildlife Conservancy, local community leaders, cultural groups and members of the public.
In statements made to the local press and to those present, the Defense Attaché of the US Embassy said he was happy with the delivery of the material to the Lugenda Health Center and hopes that the material will help the Center's efforts to provide quality health services for the local community.
In turn, the NSR Programs Director thanked SoA for the generosity of the support given to communities in the Lugenda region and extended his thanks to Luwire for its commitment to building the Casa-Mãe-Espera at that Center, which will benefit nearby communities. He challenged those responsible for the Center to strive for the rational and prudent use of the equipment offered so that it last a long time. He took the opportunity to emphasize that the ambulance is free to use and it was forbidden to charge for the use of it.
The Permanent Secretary of the District took the floor and, on behalf of the District Government and local communities, thanked all the partners involved in the acquisition of the goods. He highlighted how important those goods offered will represent for the day-to-day life of the local population, especially the ambulance that will be able to help transport patients safely from locations further away from the Lugenda Health Center. He also urged beneficiaries to make rational use of the goods offered, for example, requesting an ambulance in case of real need. Furthermore, he also challenged NSR representatives to create mechanisms for other tour operators in the Reserve to engage in similar activities in communities residing in the concession areas.
The event ended with the visit of the Casa-Mãe-Espera, built by Luwire Wildlife Conservancy.