Stranded hippos not in danger

01 Aug 2016 14:50pm
KATIMA MULILO, 01 AUG (NAMPA) – Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta says the hippos and crocodiles stranded in shallow waters in the Zambezi Region, are not in any immediate danger but the ministry must however act fast.
Shifeta said this on Saturday, when he and ministerial delegates and officials of the Bamunu Conservancy visited the river channel situated between the Sibbinda and Linyanti constituencies.
According to Shifeta, preliminary investigations indicate the channel that is rapidly drying up, can be refilled with underground water to be pumped out by his ministry as soon as possible.
Shifeta said the current situation is that the pool occupied by over 200 hippos and crocodiles, is deep but not broad enough to accommodate them all.
This, Shifeta says, has led to these animals fighting and killing each other, as they are all territorial.
“The water level I observed is deep enough for them to swim in but the problem is that the ponds are not big enough to accommodate all the animals. This is why I have suggested we dig two boreholes at each pond, so the river channel can be filled up.”
Shifeta said the two boreholes are a temporary solution, saying it will also give the ministry enough time to look into other viable solutions so that this situation does not arise again.
“The boreholes will serve as a temporary solution, while we look into how best we can permanently address the animals’ situation. The two ponds that split as a result of the river channel drying up at a hasty speed due to poor rainfall, has left these animals stressed. We will need to act fast to save them from each other.”
Shifeta added that an aerial view also showed the hippos not far from the main river of Linyanti, saying a small passage will be made for them to freely migrate to the deeper water. That way, the chances of fighting will be reduced. Some hippos also died in July.
“Five hippos have died. We cannot relocate these hippos to the Zambezi River, as they will fight and kill each other. We hope all that will be done soon will be in their favour.”
Shifeta noted that no hippo has been poached by hunters from villages living in the area or neighbouring Botswana residents, who can now easily cross the Linyanti River by simply walking into Namibia.
The Linyanti River is also partly drying up due to a lack of floodwater, which collected in the region but did not reach Lake Lyambezi for it to flow into the Linyanti-Kwando rivers.