Members of the Standing Committee on Habitat listening carefully to the testimonies and inputs of public members in Zambezi region, during the ongoing public hearings on Human-Wildlife Conflict
|Story by Rafael Hangula
On 11 September 2017 the National Council Standing Committee on Habitat kicked off with the public hearings in Zambezi region on Human-Wildlife Conflict. The Committee engaged Farmers, Members of the Public, Communities, Traditional Authorities, and Wildlife Conservancies on the issue of human-wildlife conflict.
Testimonies made by Likwama Farmers Association during the hearings in that region were heartbreaking tales and they narrated how community members experienced huge losses such as crop damages, cattle losses and even loss of human life at the hands of wild animals. Community members still continue to demand compensation from central government with some claiming that conservancies do not bring their part in assisting to pay for losses in this conflict.
They said funds are rather mismanaged as some claim that it does not benefit the majority but only a selective few. Rizky Lilami who was also present at the hearing proposed a compensation of N$ 20 000 per head of cattle lost, N$ 5000 for a goat, N$ 2500 per hectares for damaged crops and N$ 150 for a chicken.
Those who turned up called upon MET to respond to complaints fast to avoid evidence disappearing as they MET are quick to demand for when claims are made.
The National Council on 24 May 2017 referred a motion pertaining to Human-Wildlife Conflict, subsequent compensation or lack thereof during loss of human life, damages caused to property by wild animals and the role of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in mitigating and managing human-wildlife conflicts.
Other regions to be visited are: Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati, Kunene, Erongo and Khomas. Public hearings are expected to end on 4 October 2017.