11 May 2017 13:00pm
AMAUPA, 11 MAY (NAMPA) - People living at the Amaupa village in the Omusati Region are losing their crops to a herd of about 20 elephants, which have been destroying fields there since the end of April this year.
One of the villagers, Haggai Nangolo, told Nampa in an interview at the village on Wednesday the animals have thus far destroyed eight fields and ate crops of maize, pumpkins, cowpea, sorghum and groundnuts.
He said his whole 4-hectare field was destroyed.
No one has been injured so far.
We have suffered a big loss of good harvests that we expected this season due to the good rains we received this year, Nangolo said.
Conservation officials from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism were earlier this week deployed in the area and were seen chasing the elephants away from the fields.
Those elephants were born in this forest, meaning they belong here, one of the ministry employees, who asked not to be named, said in a brief conversation with this news agency.
Chief Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Romeo Muyunda said ministry officials on the ground have preliminarily confirmed that 15 to 20 elephants are wandering around in the Amaupa area.
We are fully aware of those elephants; the ministry sympathises with those affected and the problem will be rectified as soon as possible, Muyunda said in a telephonic interview with this reporter on Wednesday.
He said staff members of the ministry are monitoring the movement of the elephants, amongst others to assist affected community members in assessing the damage caused.
The elephants now at Amaupa migrated from the Uukwaluudhi Community Conservancy, and Amaupa falls under that conservancy, Muyunda noted.
When asked if the owners are going to be compensated for the damage, Muyunda said his ministry only gives people an off-set, which is a minimum amount of money for crops damaged or livestock lost.