N$40k for 76 small stock slaughtered by lions

21 July 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

A farmer from the Kunene Region will be paid N$40 000 in line with the National Human-Wildlife Conflict Management’s self-reliance scheme for his 76 small stock that were killed by lions.

This included 66 sheep and 10 goats. The incident occurred on 14 July at the Leeukop village near Grootberg.

This was confirmed by the environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda, who said the ministry has taken note of concerns that the set amounts as per the policy are insufficient.

“For this reason, we wish to clarify that Namibia does not have a policy for compensation of damages caused by wild animals.”

He said money paid by the ministry is simply to assist farmers who are affected by human-wildlife conflict incidents and “not necessarily to pay for the value of the damages or loss”.

Revised and improved

Muyunda added that the policy for human-wildlife conflict management was put in place in 2009 and in 2018 the rates were revised and improved.

“The policy further allows the minister to adjust payment rates from time to time depending on the available resources.”

The spokesperson said the ministry sympathises with the affected farmer and that they will continue to engage farm owners and community members in implementing measures to manage and mitigate human-wildlife conflict.

Predator-proof

Meanwhile, to improve the management of lions in the country, the ministry has commissioned the development of a 10-year lion conservation strategy.

“The development process has started. All key stakeholders - including farmers and rural community members - will be consulted in the development process.”

Muyunda said in the immediate and short-term, the ministry is also implementing a programme to strengthen and develop predator-proof livestock kraals, especially in the affected areas of Kunene and Erongo.

So far, 25 kraals have been constructed from the beginning of the year, he said, adding that it is within their plans for 2021 to construct 100 more to prevent lions attacking livestock in kraals.

“We also urge farmers and communities to conduct good animal husbandry.”

The ministry pays for human-wildlife conflict incidents with the support of the Game Product Trust Fund and external partners.

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