New Era (Namibia)
RUNDU – The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) deputy director for the north-eastern regions Apollinaris Kanyinga says stakeholders such as regional councils and others should step in to also assist in the human-wildlife conflict fight.
Kanyinga said the ministry should not be left to deal with this matter alone.
Kanyinga was responding to New Era on what what the ministry was doing to assist affected communities.
“If funds permit we are looking at putting in measures to protect water facilities such as community boreholes that are being damaged by wild animals, especially elephants, but for homesteads unfortunately there’s no off-set provision,” he said.
“You have seen the revised human-wildlife conflict policy – it doesn’t cover infrastructure damages but [it] makes provision for revenue to be generated from wildlife to address the conflicts like in cases where someone is killed,” Kanyinga noted.
Just recently several incidents of destruction by marauding elephants in Kavango West Region have been recorded, where homesteads and community water boreholes have been destroyed.
“There are two teams on the ground to assist the community, like in the destruction on Friday night at Ncorose village in Mpungu Constituency where an elderly was left homeless. The team went into the area but didn’t manage to bring down the problem elephant,” he said.
Such incidents are mostly happening at night.
“We cannot just put down any elephant. We need to look at the ones causing problems so even when you find a herd crossing the road at night one can’t be sure that it is the problematic one or not,” he added.
At the moment there are no statistics of the elephant population in the two Kavango regions but in 2016 MET only counted around 150 elephants in Musese Constituency in Kavango West.
“We did that when we had problems in that area – if we get funding from our partners we are planning to do an aerial game count still in Musese and if funds allow we will expand it to other constituencies, but for now the funding is not yet secured,” Kanyinga said.
Kanyinga told New Era that apart from encounters with elephants, attacks by crocodiles in the area have slightly subsided.
Causing problems at the moment, especially in the Mbunza Traditional Authority in Kavango West, VaGciriKu and Shambyu Traditional Authority farms in Kavango East, are wild dogs.
“But more instances of wild dogs attacks are in the Shambyu and Gciriku areas, more at those farms,” he said.