MET urges caution in areas prone to human-wildlife conflict

12 May 2017 12:50pm
WINDHOEK, 12 MAY (NAMPA) – People who live in areas where human-wildlife conflict is common should avoid walking in the bushes at night, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has said.
The ministry’s Chief Public Relations Officer, Romeo Muyunda in a statement availed to the media on Thursday said they are concerned about the increase in human-wildlife conflict, particularly involving elephants, in northern Namibia.
To prevent lives being lost, people should not walk around outside at night and should also not make gestures that might startle the elephants.
Muyunda said the ministry has also been receiving a lot of reports of elephants destroying crops in the northern regions.
He said the ministry empathises with the farmers who lose their crops in this manner.
“The ministry fully understands that crop cultivation is a source of livelihood for many people in rural areas, particularly in the affected regions,” he stated.
Muyunda said the ministry would do everything possible within its framework of laws and policies to ensure that such losses are minimised.
He also appealed to community members and farmers to be patient while they look into the matter.
“We urge community members not to take the law into their own hands, and further encourage them to work closely with the officials deployed to assist them,” Muyunda said.
He pointed out that wildlife plays a very important role in attracting tourists, which in turn contributes to economic development and creates employment.
In the latest incident, villagers at Amaupa in the Omusati Region complained this week that about 20 elephants have been destroying fields there since the end of April this year.