Ministry considers insurance scheme for HWC victims

22 Sep 2016 16:10pm
ONGWEDIVA, 22 SEP (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Environment and Tourism is considering improving compensation payments for death, injuries or loss suffered as a result of human wildlife conflict (HWC).
Director of the Parks and Wildlife Management Colgar Sikopo said the ministry will in the future establish an insurance scheme that would provide payments to affected parties whose family members die or are severely injured as a result of HWC.
He was speaking at a consultative meeting to discuss the Draft Revised National Policy on HWC Management held for the northern regions of Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshikoto at Ongwediva on Wednesday
An amount of N.dollars 5 000 is currently paid for death/injuries, while N.dollars 1 500 is for a cattle lost in HWC.
Sikopo said while this policy would be universally applicable in all areas of the country, there will be specific conditions.
The ministry, as per the draft policy, will also establish a HWC livestock insurance scheme to offset the costs of livestock death.
This approach, he said, may only apply on communal conservancies and not to livestock lost on private land.
The ministry will through its annual budget provisions or through its support partners make funding available that will be paid through a professional insurance company.
Government will provide, for instance, N.dollars 10 million to the insurance company for payment purposes, Sikopo said.
“That company will then provide payments to affected parties as prescribed. Terms and conditions will apply,” he pointed out, adding that payments for crops lost will be made to damages caused only by elephants, buffalo and hippopotamus.
Meeting participants suggested that the Etosha National Park fence be strengthened and erected in a way that it prevents elephants and other dangerous wildlife from escaping from the park easily.
Sikopo held similar meetings already in the Kunene and Otjozondjupa regions, and will be in the Zambezi and two Kavango regions next week. He is expected to cover the rest of the regions in October.
Besides deliberating on the draft policy, consultations with members of conservancies, farmers, traditional authorities and other affected parties aim to share information and ideas.