By The Namibian
THE leadership of the Kavango West region wants some elephants in the region relocated to Etosha National Park.
This was mentioned at a meeting hosted by the office of the governor, Sirkka Ausiku, on Tuesday as part of the solution to control human-wildlife conflict.
The meeting, involving various stakeholders, was attended by officials from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), Namibia Industrial Development Agency which manages the Mangetti cattle ranch, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.
Speaking to Nampa on Thursday on some points of the discussions, Ausiku said the meeting was held mainly to look at possible ways of mitigating issues of human-wildlife conflict.
She said the increase in the population of elephants is contributing immensely to human-wildlife conflict, and since the region is an agricultural region it will be hard for communities to cultivate their mahangu fields when the cultivating season commences.
“The Kavango West region is an agricultural region and most of the people survive on subsistence farming. The number of elephants in the region is observed to be on an increase and it’s worrisome that they will keep on destroying people’s agricultural fields when they start cultivating their fields,” said Ausiku.
Tulilo Perreira, a commercial farmer operating the Musese irrigation project through a lease agreement entered into with Nida, also attended the meeting.
Perreira became the latest victim of human-wildlife conflict when a herd of jumbos entered his field and destroyed vast amounts of his crops.
The governor further said that one of the options at the meeting was to look at how translocation of some of these animals can be carried out, possibly to Etosha, but submissions are yet to be made to MET and the agriculture ministry on the matter.
The meeting also looked at other measures such as digging trenches around crop fields as a way of preventing elephants to enter the crop fields.
MET deputy director for the north-eastern regions, Apollinaris Kanyinga told this news agency that removal of problem-causing animals is in the provision of the ministry’s policies on wildlife management but a decision of that matter only lies with the minister.
“Any decision should be made within the confinement of the law, but such decisions only lie with the minister and it will be a huge, costly exercise to undertake,” he said.