Sunday, May 9, 2021

BirdLife warns about danger posed by extinction of vultures

BirdLife Botswana has expressed worry at the tendency by some communities in Botswana to kill vultures, especially through poisoning. Dr Kabelo Senyatso, Director of BirdLife Botswana, recently warned that the continued poisoning of vultures could result in their extinction, which will pose a serious threat to human life.

“If we continue killing vultures we will have the same problem as countries like India, which is fighting a tough battle trying to control pets’ diseases like rabies. Vultures clean the environment by eating dead animals. If we kill all of them our environment will remain with dead animals cluttered all over. The end result is proliferation of diseases like rabies,” said Dr. Senyatso.

He was speaking at Granny’s Lodge Conference Hall in Letlhakane last week, where BirdLife was celebrating a number of milestones; as it managed to facilitate the registration and official launch of a new community based organisation (CBO), donation of computers and intensifying of public education in Botswana’s communities.

As part of its commitment to supporting establishment of CBO’s in Botswana, Birdlife Botswana had applied for a grant from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)’s Global Environment Facility/Small Grants Program (GEF/SGP) to be used to purchase computers that would automate operations and facilitate easier compilation of reports.

Dr Senyatso explained that the computers will be given to community trusts in Mmeya, Mosu, Mokubilo and Mmatshumu as well as a Farmer’s Association that BirdLife recently started working with.

“We needed the computers because we keep on encountering difficulties when it comes to submitting reports. Our partners often delay in submitting their reports because they do not have the requisite resources. I am quite happy that the GEF/SGP-UNDP agreed to grant us funds to purchase five computers to overcome this problem,” said Dr Senyatso.

A new Trust called ‘Lenao la ga Kwalabe’ was also launched at the occasion. The Trust was registered after Birdlife Botswana assisted in compiling a proposal for funding of P490, 000 that was meant to kick-start the Trust’s operations. Lenao la ga Kwalabe Trust Chairperson, Boikaletso Kenosi said at the launch that the donor agency has already credited just over P232, 000 into the Trust’s account, part of which was used for the launch. He further said the first action item on their agenda was to design a logo for the Trust.

“We are proud of BirdLife and I wish to urge all of you to develop caring relationships with birds. Don’t threaten them, just befriend the birds and they will come to you,” he said.

He further explained that Lenao la ga Kwalabe Trust was formed in 2002 and registered in 2005 with the aim of using Lake Nxau to transform the lives of the community of Kedia. Other communities like Motopi and Rakops also benefit from the lake. The Trust intends to venture into activities like fishing, reeds harvesting and basketry.

“With these activities we want to ensure that womenfolk benefit from our Trust,” he said.

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