NBC (Namibia)

Tuesday, 5. January 2021 – 11:30

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Elephants roaming around the Sorris Sorris conservancy have allegedly destroyed gardens and water pipes at the Anigab settlement and surrounding farms.

In an interview with NAMPA on Monday, the chairperson of the Sorris Sorris Conservancy, Gerson //Aiseb said that it has been a routine for the past eight years that elephants would come around the farms in the conservancy areas and Anigab and destroy gardens and pull out water pipes.

“This is because of very little water they are getting on in the field as well as scarcity of food that we have been in the fields. Our conservancy members started backyard gardening for them to survive during this hard times of the COVID-19 pandemic, but elephants are destroying gardens. They were also at the school at Anigab Settlement on Saturday, where they destroyed potable water pipes by pulling them out to have access to water,” he said.

“We would like the ministry responsible to take some of the elephants to other conservancy areas by relocating them but not all of them. We just want them to make their number less in groups. The more the elephants are, the more they can cause trouble. Elephants are one of the major tourist attractions of the conservancy but they are destroying what the community here needs in order to survive. We would like to call on the Government to assist us in this regards,” said Aiseb.

When contacted for a comment, chief public relations officer at the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Romeo Muyunda said the elephants cannot be minimised or relocated.

‘The Government’s communal conservancy program has sought to reduce human wildlife conflict by empowering communities to manage the wildlife and generate income and benefits for conservancy members,’ he said, adding that the government recognises that living with wildlife often carries a cost, especially with increased wildlife populations and expanded ranges into communal and freehold farming areas.