Activist walks 950km to raise awareness on Kunene River Valley’s biodiversity

Activist walks 950km to raise awareness on Kunene River Valley’s biodiversity

An environmental activist from Epupa Falls is walking 950 kilometres in an effort to raise awareness on the preservation of the Kunene River Valley’s biodiversity.
Owen Kataparo, who is also a tour guide, is on his way to Windhoek and has been on the road for two weeks now.
For the past 13 days, Kataparo has been making his way through the Kunene Region's tough terrain, which included sleeping in trees while dodging lions and elephants.
His mission is to meet key environmental decision-makers in Windhoek, to sensitise them about the situation in the Kunene River Valley.
The biodiversity in the area is severely threatened by the annual floods, caused by the uncoordinated opening of the dams in Angola.
Kataparo says the floods are washing away small islands and trees that are hundreds of years old, rapidly destroying the natural environment.
Kataparo’s 950km walk also aims to educate locals about preserving the ecosystem along the way.
He is also pleading with locals to refrain from poisoning crocodiles, which has become a common occurrence in the Kunene river valley.
There is also an online petition making the rounds titled 'Save the Kunene', calling for the moderation and control of floodwaters from the source area.
Kataparo says it will take him another 18 days to reach Windhoek, however, his journey was disrupted on Friday morning on his way to Kamanjab.
The environmental activist was picked up by the Namibian police and taken to the Werda Gate holding cells, as he apparently resembled a rhino poacher walking in broad daylight on the main road.
The Namibian Police were out on the lookout after a poaching incident took place in the area surrounding the Etosha National Park.
NamPol's crime investigations coordinator for the Kunene Region, Deputy Commissioner Rudolf Kanyetu comfirmed to NBC News that the environmental activist was released on Saturday afternoon, seeing that the police didn't have enough evidence to charge him.
Kanyetu says, even though the poaching investigations are still ongoing, Kataparo was allowed to continue his journey.
He is expected to arrive in Kamanjab in the next two days.