As Botswana grapples with human wildlife conflict, residents of Sowa Town live in perpetual fear of elephants as they trample on the mining town with impunity.
The elephants have destroyed a perimeter fence, caused damages at an amphitheatre (Kgotla), some significant damages at Sowa Primary School, the Nxakato Junior Secondary School, the Metrological Services, nursery and the Botswana Housing Corporation fences.
The revelation was made by Sowa Town Mayor George Maphane during a full council meeting last week in Sowa Town. He said the animals have also destroyed student gardens at Nxakato Junior Secondary School and was worried that this can negatively affect the form 3 Agriculture students’ results.
“The department of Wildlife and National Parks has been notified of elephants terrorizing the town. These animals have put our communities at risk. It has been observed that these elephants are attracted by a sewage pond within the township. The Water Utilities leaking pipes and Morula fruits around the township also contribute,” he said.
Maphane explained that in an endeavor to scare the animals, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks has on the 4th and 5th February 2019 conducted night patrols to control the elephants.
He said the department plans to send a team to camp in the mining town to try and scare the animals away. He urged Water Utilities Corporation to attend to leakages on pipes and further said them as council should drain their water ponds to try and manage the situation.
“Even though there has never been any reports of fatalities recorded on human life in the town, the general public is cautioned to be vigilant at all times about elephants roaming the town as they can be dangerous,” he said.
“Let us try by all means to avoid provoking them and talk to our children especially Nxakato Junior Secondary School students as there have been reports that they are making noise to these animals which can provoke them leading to fatal incidents,” he added.
Meanwhile the mayor accused the Ministry of Land Management Water and Sanitation for taking ages to respond to their request on the completion of the construction of Infrastructure in Block 3 SHHA and Upgrading of Storm water drainage.
He said they are still waiting for the response from the ministry to address the council of Sowa Town on non-completion of these projects.
“I am however not pleased at all about the slow pace in resolving whatever might be the constraint in completion of this project. We continue to urge and request the minister of Land Management Water and Sanitation to do something about the situation,” Maphane.
He also expressed disappointment over failure by government to bring developments in Sowa Town. He revealed that the Sowa Town community resolved at the mid-term review consultations to select a task team that will that will pay a visit to the Office of the President to protest the continued lack of development projects the mining town despite the visible gaps that exist.