Elephants destroy farm infrastructure at Mashare

12 Jun 2019 10:20am
RUNDU, 12 JUN (NAMPA) – Elephants have continued to ravage a farm in the Kavango East Region’s Mashare Constituency, destroying infrastructure, with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism unable to mitigate the latest case of human-wildlife conflict.
In an interview with Nampa recently, the farm’s owner, Augustinus Poroto, said the issue of elephant attacks on his farm go back as far as 2015.
“Our border fence has been destroyed and currently, most of our cattle are outside. We have not recovered many of our cattle up to now,” a frustrated Poroto said.
Poroto explained that his farm has three posts and each post has four to five camps, which have all been destroyed by the elephants.
“We do not know what to do. We approached the Ministry of Environment and Tourism here in Rundu several times, but no action has been taken regarding the elephants,” he said.
The three boreholes on his farm have also been damaged by the elephants.
Poroto said he has now spent more than N.dollars 800 000 on fixing the fence every time it is destroyed, paying workers and repairing many other things on the farm.
“My wife and I spend our entire pension on that farm, of which most of the infrastructure is now damaged. Where will we get this money now for us to survive?” he asked, adding that his two children are unemployed graduates and the farm is their saving grace and means of survival.
Deputy Director in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Apollinaris Kanyinga, told Nampa on Sunday the farm in question is located in an elephant habitat, which means the elephants will without a doubt damage the fences.
“There is also no policy provision to compensate farmers for infrastructure that has been destroyed,” he said.
Kayinga said the ministry has started discussions to see how best farmers can coexist with wildlife and to see if farmers can get utilisation rights over wildlife.
The ministry’s public relations officer, Romeo Muyunda, in a separate interview with Nampa said there are a lot of farms in that area that are affected by the same problem and that if the elephants are going to be chased from the farm, they will go into the next farm.
“There are not enough corridors for these elephants to pass through,” he said.
Muyunda advised all farmers affected to convene a meeting and look at how they can benefit from the wildlife by writing a proposal to the ministry to consider giving them quotas to perhaps hunt some of the elephants.
This way, he said, the farmers can use this to generate some funds that can assist them to curb the costs they incur.