Drought causing human-elephant conflict at Kamanjab

09 Jun 2013 05:50
KAMANJAB, 09 JUN (NAMPA) - The /Gaio-Daman Traditional Authority on Friday expressed concern over the increasing number of elephants searching for water and grazing around villages at Kamanjab.
Kamanjab is situated 150 kilometres west of Outjo in the Kunene Region.
/Gaio-Daman Traditional Authority Chief Max Haraseb in an interview with Nampa on Friday said large numbers of elephants have started seeking water and grazing near villages, especially around the Grootberg and Hobatere areas.
He attributed their behaviour to the seriousness of the drought situation in the Kamanjab area.
?I am concerned and worried for people?s lives. Elephants are not spared by this drought, and they have now started to look for water to drink at some boreholes where we also fetch water for domestic use,? said Chief Haraseb.
In the past two weeks, Grootberg residents have reportedly already had problems with elephants displaying aggressive behaviour at a water-point in the area.
Haraseb said the elephants refused to move away from the borehole at one point, and even appeared to ready to attack the men attempting to fetch water there. In the end, the men returned home empty-handed.
Luckily, no elephant attacks or fatalities have been reported thus far, he said.
The chief then commended Government for its prompt response to the drought situation currently experienced in the country, but also called for the speedy drilling of boreholes at Kamanjab for his people as a matter of urgency.
Meanwhile, Kunene Regional Council Chairperson and Kamanjab Constituency Councillor, Dudu Murorua told Nampa on Friday the registration of drought relief beneficiaries has been completed in the region.
?For now it is a matter of distributing the 16 000 bags of maize meal and other food aid from Opuwo to the beneficiaries in the entire Kunene Region,? he stated.
Asked for comment on the elephant issue, Murorua stated that the situation is even worse at the Gainetseb communal area in the Kamanjab Constituency where elephants are constantly roaming around villages looking for food and water. He said this year?s drought has hit not only humans hard, but has also had a huge impact on both wild and domestic animals in the Kunene Region.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba recently declared a state of emergency over the drought situation, and also called for assistance from the international community.
Government has allocated N.dollars 200 million towards drought relief countrywide, including for the drilling of 40 boreholes.