Compensation policy is ‘lip service’

The second in command at the PDM, and a farmer in the Kunene Region, Kazeongere Tjeundo, says government must put action to its promises of compensation for wildlife conflict.

07 December 2017 | Environment

The vice-president of the Popular Democratic Movement, Kazeongere Tjeundo, has labelled the recently approved compensation policy by the National Council as mere lip service by the authorities. Tjeundo, who is also the Opuwo urban constituency councillor, said he is also a victim of the recent human-wildlife conflict reported in the Kunene Region. He said the policy leaves more questions than answers when addressing the issue at hand. Tjeundo, who Tjeundo’s sentiments were echoed by the chairperson of the Otuzemba Conservancy, Karee Mupya, who said there is already a dragging of feet by the relevant authorities to release the compensation money of farmers who have already fallen prey to human-wildlife conflict. Both Mupya and Tjeundo said there are farmers waiting for their compensation from as far back as 2015. “Government has to come clean on who will be having the compensation mandate as most farmers have to date not gotten a single cent, because conservancies would tell farmers that the relevant ministries have not yet released the money,” Tjeundo said. Supporting Tjeundo, Mupya acknowledged that the N$60 000 given to conservancies per year is not always dispensed on time, resulting in conservancies not being in a position to execute their required responsibilities such as compensating victims. The new policy, according to media reports, states that N$100 000 will be paid as compensation for loss of human life, while for injuries depending on the severity thereof, government will compensate between N$10 000 and N$30 000. Victims of human-wildlife conflict left disabled will be paid N$50 000. An amount of N$3 000 will be paid in the loss of cattle, while N$500 will be paid for a goat, N$700 for a sheep, N$800 for a horse, N$500 for a donkey and N$700 for a pig. Crop production will, according to the policy, be compensated N$250 for a quarter of a hectare and N$1 000 for a hectare. The regions most affected, according to reports, are Kunene, Zambezi, Kavango East and West, Ohangwena, Erongo and Omusati. Communal farmers in the Torra Constituency in Kunene recently lost 86 small livestock to a pride of lions while another farmer in the same area lost 145 goats and sheep to the same pride of lions. A man was also attacked by a lion a few months ago in the Sesfontein Constituency at Onguta village.

NAMPA

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