Tourism records over 130 human-wildlife clashes in Otjizondjupa

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has recorded a total of 139 cases of human-wildlife conflict incidents in the 2017/18 financial year in Otjizondjupa region.

In total the ministry also paid out N$273 950 through the Game Product Trust Fund to farmers who encountered problems with elephants, the governor’s office said.

The ministry has also reported 22 wildlife poaching cases of which six were finalized and 16 are still pending. About 15 wildlife crime prevention operations with the aim at fighting poaching and illegal dealings in wildlife.

“The elephants destroyed infrastructure of the farmers and this problem is still ongoing. One of the problematic elephants was hunted down and an amount of N$1 million was generated and paid to the affected farmers who were called upon to find amicable and sound solutions to the problem,” the governor, Otto Ipinge, has told The Villager.

He added that through trophy hunting quotas during the same period a total number of 42 people got permanent employment at some of the conservancies in the region.

However, Iipinge further stated that he is concerned about the escaping of buffaloes from the Waterberg Plateau Park.

“This is caused by the exceeding of carrying capacity of 400 with 1 100 and this results in shortage of grazing and territory. The farmers surrounding the plateau experience loss of income due to restriction of livestock sales,” he said.