Nine killed in animal attacks

Human encroachment on formerly wild areas is leading to more frequent cases of conflict with wildlife.

17 February 2017 | Environment

It is not even two months into the year and already six people have been killed by wild animals. The number is staggeringly high as in 2016 a total of nine were killed in conflict with animals in Namibia.

Four of those killed this year were in hippo attacks while the other two people were killed by crocodiles.

Last year, four people were injured in human-wildlife conflict incidents including two staff members of the environment ministry.

As for livestock, 545 cattle, 79 sheep, 291 goats and 15 donkeys were taken by wild animals in 2016 while this year 46 cattle and nine goats have been killed so far.

With regard to crops, there were 71 incidents of damage reported in 2016 and 94 hectares were destroyed by wild animals. This year 21 incidents were reported and 57 hectares have been destroyed.

These figures were released by environment minister Pohamba Shifeta at the announcement of a conference on human-wildlife conflict management.

The conference will be held on 1 and 2 March at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek, while World Wildlife Day will be celebrated on 3 March.

Shifeta said people were risking their lives crossing and swimming in rivers because they believe that crocodiles will not attack them unless they are bewitched.

He said this ignorance was why so many people were being killed by hippos and crocodiles.

The minister said there are designated areas where people can cross rivers.

“But because they do not want to get a permit they cross the river at night even with babies that become victims.”

Shifeta said human-wildlife conflict in Namibia had become more frequent and severe in recent decades as a result of population growth, unplanned agricultural activities and the expansion of agricultural and industrial activities, which have led to increased human encroachment on previously wild and uninhabited areas.

According to Shifeta the ministry recognises that living with wildlife often carries a cost, with increased wildlife populations and expanded ranges into communal and freehold farming areas resulting in more frequent conflicts between people and wild animals, particularly elephants and predators.

He said that resulted in livestock and crop losses, damage to water installations and in some instances loss of human lives. The impact of livestock losses and crop damage on rural farmers is compounded by the effects of unemployment, lack of cash and the impact of HIV/Aids.

According to him these conflicts have always existed where people and wildlife live together and will continue to do so in the future. “This means that it will not be possible to eradicate all conflicts but that conflict has to be managed in the most effective and efficient way possible.”

He said it was also evident that the widespread drought in Namibia was aggravating the situation.

Shifeta added that many wild animals are destroyed in retaliation of human-wildlife conflict even when the identification of the real culprit is not possible especially with predators. “This may eliminate the species and affect the ecosystem and home ranges.”

The conference will discuss measures and strategies to be put in place in order to address the issue of wildlife conflict and finalise the revised national policy on human-wildlife conflict management.





ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Otjozondjupa must clean up

2 weeks ago - 13 March 2017 | Environment

Otjozondjupa Regional Governor, Otto Ipinge last week launched the region's waste management forum.The main objective of the forum is to develop a sustainable waste management...

Oongandu otadhi vulu okugandja omauwanawa koshigwana

2 weeks ago - 13 March 2017 | Environment

Ekwatathano tali londo pombanda pokati kaantu noongandu momilonga dhomonooli yaNamibia olyo tali etitha e yo pombanda lyiiponokela tayi ningilwa aantu koongandu.Onkalo yimwe natango...

Croc are not utilised

2 weeks ago - 10 March 2017 | Environment

Increased contact between people and crocodiles in Namibia's northern rivers is contributing to an increase in crocodile attacks on humans and livestock.Others factors are a...

Money down the drain

2 weeks ago - 08 March 2017 | Environment

Less than 10% of finance from international climate funds to help developing countries adapt to climate change impacts and adopt clean energy is reaching local-level...

Fundraising for wildlife protection

2 weeks ago - 07 March 2017 | Environment

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism last week held its first fundraising event in an effort to raise money for protecting the country's wildlife. Environment...

Outjo protests Chinese donkey abattoir

3 weeks ago - 06 March 2017 | Environment

A newly formed Outjo residents' group on Friday handed over a petition protesting the sale of land to a Chinese company that intends to build...

Elephant numbers up, conflicts down

3 weeks ago - 06 March 2017 | Environment

While Namibia's elephant population has been steadily growing it has of late been featured in the news for an incident of human-wildlife conflict and just...

Little money for Wildlife Protection Service

3 weeks ago - 06 March 2017 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta recently briefed the National Assembly on the work his ministry was doing to stem wildlife poaching.This was in response to a...

More investment needed in reducing human-wildlife conflict

3 weeks ago - 03 March 2017 | Environment

The CEO of the Namibia Chamber of Environment, Chris Brown, says the ministry of environment needs to invest more in mitigating human-wildlife conflict otherwise the...

Logging at Zambezi Green Scheme still on hold

3 weeks ago - 02 March 2017 | Environment

The cutting of at least 70 high-value trees in or near a Green Scheme construction site in the Zambezi Region was conducted illegally, forestry officials...

Latest News

Skorpion retrenchments inevitable

14 hours ago | Business

Vedanta will implement its restructuring process which will ultimately result in the retrenchment of 278 workers at its Rosh Pinah mine in the south. This...

Moussongela accused of incest

14 hours ago | Crime

A man who used to date a daughter of the Congolese pastor Pedro Marcelino Moussongela, was shocked to find out that the child he used...

Rhino carcass found at Grootberg

14 hours ago | Crime

The carcass of another black rhino has been found in the Kunene Region, making it the third rhino poaching incident in Namibia this year. According...

Chaos over card fees

14 hours ago | Education

The Namibia Science and Technology (Nust) Student Representative Council (SRC) is accusing the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) through its partnership Namibia Financial Solutions...

Water is Namibia's Achilles heel

14 hours ago | Disasters

Water security in Namibia is not only being threatened by increased demand for water, which in some areas has outstripped supply, but it is further...

Rhino carcass found at Grootberg

14 hours ago | Crime

The carcass of another black rhino has been found in the Kunene Region, making it the third rhino poaching incident in Namibia this year. According...

Chaos over card fees

14 hours ago | Education

The Namibia Science and Technology (Nust) Student Representative Council (SRC) is accusing the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) through its partnership Namibia Financial Solutions...

Shot of the day

14 hours ago | Picture of the day

GRAVEYARD: Siblings Saikon, Maitey and Lowassa walk past the carcass of one of the 422 cattle their family lost through drought in Kilosa district. Many...

Trigger Happy

14 hours ago | Opinion

With shock and horror we learned about the shooting of an innocent and defenceless three-year-old girl by members of the Namibia Defence Forces at the...

Load More