Southern Times Africa

Tiri Masawi,

February 2, 2021

The Executive Director of Namibia’s Environment, Tourism and Forestry Ministry, Mr Theo Nghitila, says a planned sale of 170 elephants is based on scientific data and the need to manage human-wildlife conflict.

Some media organisations and activists have claimed the sale is shrouded in secrecy and smacks of corruption.

However, Mr Nghitila said, “There has been a persistent problem caused by these elephants to the extent that the conflict between the animals and the humans becomes intolerant. In light of all this the Namibian government has established a range of incentives for people to co-exist with the elephants, based on the intrinsic value of the elephants.”

He added that there was need to strike a sustainable balance between progressive conservation efforts, as pursued by the government since independence in 1990, and the wellbeing of communities in areas close to wildlife habitats.

“It is a pity that some people think that Namibia and Africans in general cannot run their own affairs and should be subjected to ideologies, their ideologies, that have no regard for our people. For as much as we value tourism as a tourism sector based on the revenue it generates, as a responsible government we will always put the needs of our people first without compromise or fail,” Mr Nghitila said.

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