By: Annakleta Haikera
The Mashare constituency councillor in the Kavango East Phillip Mavara, has urged the environment ministry to invest in crocodile farming and save lives in the two Kavango regions.
This comes after the fourth victim just this year was attacked and killed by a crocodile last week Thursday, 14 April, at Mupapama Mashare constituency.
Mushongo Anselm, the victim, was a 13- years old grade 4 learner at Sambyu primary school. He had travelled for Easter weekend at his homestead on Thursday afternoon. Upon arrival, he went with his siblings to take a bath at the river. They all took a bath in the stream and not in the main river.
According to the police, Anselm sat on the rock in the water, where he was caught and taken by the crocodile.
Talk among the constituency is that there is a spot where crocodiles hide and wait for their next prey.
Mavara said the environment ministry should care more about the lives of the people being lost than protecting the crocodiles.
“They should start to invest in crocodile farming, so we can have investors who can buy these crocodiles and use them for farming.”
Last year the environment ministry said that preserving wildlife numbers of creatures such as crocodiles and hippos was part of its mission.
Mavara also said the country is not poor, nor is the people in the two Kavango regions poor. “If we can take these crocodiles and hippos and start farming with them, we can easily save lives and bring in more tourists and money to our beautiful country.
“I am disappointed in how many people are lost every year in our region through this species, but the ministry seems to set a deaf ear to such situations. There is so much we can do to contribute to the economic growth of this country.”
Last year, The Villager reported that the Kavango region had claimed 27 seven lives since 2020. The number has now increased.
“There are so many crocodiles in the river. I am not aware that the line ministry knows these things because they don’t even come and visit the villagers. To see the pain they go through when losing a loved one and you’re only given peanuts. What will the little money do that is given to these people if their loved ones are washed away in the river. It hurts me so much to think that the environment ministry doesn’t have tools of their own to search for the people that crocodiles are attacking.” He further said the ministry waits for a day or so to come to people’s rescue.
“Most of the time, it’s the police doing all the work for the people supposed to be taking those animals out of the river, either kill them or put them somewhere safe where they don’t cause so much harm to our people.”
“The line Ministry should consider zoos or game parks to keep these wild animals because they are very dangerous. As I was growing up, I’ve never seen or heard a good reason why we are keeping these crocodiles in the river. We should reduce the number of people being attacked by taking these crocodiles to a marketplace or safe place where they don’t harm people.”
Kavango West regional commander Johanna Ngondo urged all people to stay alert and stay away from the river, or any stream near the river, because this is the time of floods, and crocodiles prey mainly in this season. She also advised parents not to let their children go to the nearby streams alone.