Monday, October 25, 2021

Compensation for victims of wildlife attacks continue to rise

During the period of April 2016 to April 2017, the state paid a total of P4.9 million as compensation for the loss of human lives caused by wild animals, the Ministry of Wildlife and National Parks has said.

Chief Public Relations Officer at the ministry, Alice Mmolawa says atleast seven people were killed during the period under review while property was also lost.

The Ministry has over the years failed to keep out wildlife in areas that have been demarcated for agriculture land use and communal grazing areas in the northern part of the country. As a result, a huge amount of money has been budgeted for compensating affecting farmers.

In 2013 the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) was awarded P9 million to address the issue of compensations, P4.4 million in the 2016/2017 financial year and then P21 million for 2017/2018.

In the past, Okavango Research Centre’s Professor Joseph Mbaiwa said that the government’s move to allow wildlife to encroach on agriculture land use does not support the sustainable development.

Mbaiwa said that the government should keep wildlife in wildlife management areas and leave people to thrive with their own lifestyle, such as farming.

In 2013, Members of Parliament called on the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, to review the wildlife-human conflict to avoid the animals from being killed by the angry farmers.

“As it is now stands, the wildlife-human conflict will continue to grow,” said MP for Tonota North, Fidelis Molao, adding that “currently people’s hands are tied”.

“They destroy peoples produce, eat their domestic animals,” Molao pointed out, saying the situation is made even worse by the Wildlife Authorities who take ages to respond to reports.

At the time, Khama presented the Revised Wildlife Policy to Parliament on Wednesday, cautioning the population that a number of animal species were threatened.

Molao called for a quota for compensation instead of the current method in which Authorities randomly decide the price for damages, adding that the International Organisations should be enlightened about the real dangers the wildlife animals pose.

He added that the overly populated elephants were overwhelming as was their destruction.

This week, Mmolawa said that an amount of P50 000 is paid as compensation while an additional P20 000 is paid to cover funeral expenses.

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