By Eliaser Ndeyanale
PEOPLE living in regions vulnerable to human-wildlife conflict are not happy with payments for losses they receive from conservancies.
Thus they suggested that payment for loss of a human life should be between N$100 000 and N$1 million, for a cow between N$7 500 and N$15 000, for a bull between N$15 000 and N$50 000, for a sheep N$1 200 and N$1 700, for a donkey between N$2 500 and N$5 000.
For a swine’s death the residents are asking between N$1 200 and N$2 000, and the price for a horse is between N$3 000 and N$6 000.
This is according to a Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Resources report on human wildlife conflict which was tabled in the National Assembly by committee chairperson Marina Kandumbu, where the committee conducted public consultations in regions such as Zambezi, Kunene and Kavango East and West to assess the situation from, from April 23 to May 14 this year.
The existing policy of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism on Human Wildlife Conflict which was formulated in 2009 stipulates that payments for a cow or a bull killed inside a kraal is N$1 500, killing of a person is N$5 000 towards the purchase of a casket, a goat is N$200, a sheep, donkey and pig are N$250 each and a horse is N$500.
The committee quoted Zambezi regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu as saying that many people in his region had been killed and injured in their homesteads and villages by hippos, elephants, lions and buffalos.
Community members also suggested that all wild animals and certain species of birds be paid for as well. They proposed that livestock killed while grazing in the field should also be paid for.
The committee revealed in its report that whenever community members report incidents of human-wildlife conflict to the officials of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) they were always slow to take action.
”However, when a wild animal is killed by a community member, the officials are quick to arrive at the scene of incident in the shortest possible time, usually in a convoy of vehicles including police officers.
”This behaviour makes people believe that the Government values wild animals more than human beings and their properties,” said the disgruntled members.
”In the Kavango West and East regions, delay in taking action by officials was highlighted where complains from communities are left unattended for a long period of time. MET officials are often dismissive of the reported incidents and accused community members of provoking wild animals. The officials also tell community members that wildlife is more important than them and they have settled in wildlife areas,” the report read. In the Kunene region where human-wildlife conflict is ‘complicated’, the Committee was informed that action by MET officials is also slow and that people (community members) have to wait for days before they get any assistance from the authority.
According to the Kavango East regional Governor Ambassador Samuel Mbambo victims of human-wildlife conflict should be fairly compensated. He also implored the National Assembly to enact laws which empower people.
Kunene Governor Angelika Muharukua also proposed that MET should consider fair compensation to victims of human-wildlife conflict and this compensation should be provided timeously and continuously. She requested that the relationship between communities and MET officials in her region be improved.
The Committee recommended that the Ministry of Environment and Tourism should expedite review of the National Policy on human-wildlife conflict management with a view of incorporating fair and commensurate compensations to victims of such disasters.
”The Ministry of Environment and Tourism should promptly respond to incidents of human-wildlife conflict.”
On their part officials, game guards and resources monitors employed by conservancies also gave their view, and expressed dissatisfaction with their conditions of employment.
”They felt they were in danger of being killed by poachers and wild animals because of lack of rifles, proper communication equipment, transport, vastness of some conservancies- for instance //Khoadi //Oas Conservancy is 365 000 hectares- and they have no permission to arrest poachers” reads the report.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015