Botswana battles big elephant herd
Gaborone - Botswana is struggling to control an increasing population of elephants.
Members of Parliament this week said efforts to diversify the economy through agriculture were being stymied by the large elephant herd.
MP Edwin Batshu called on the Wildlife Ministry to convince the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) to allow the country to cull elephants.
His counterpart, Ponatshego Kedikilwe suggested that Botswana, as a CITES signatory, must appeal to the international body to provide mitigation strategies.
Kedikilwe, who is the Minister of Minerals and Water Affairs, pleaded with Tourism and Wildlife Minister Kitso Mokaila to approach CITES on the matter.
Kedikilwe said huge elephant populations were reversing efforts of producing food through the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD) among other initiatives.
He said food security in Botswana remained a challenge due to destruction of crops by elephants.
MP Tawana Moremi added, “Subsistence farming in places like Ngamiland is a waste of resources as elephants are destroying everything within their reach.”
Minister Mokaila responded, “We will re-look at the governance structures of the Community-Based Natural Resource Management for a more focused approach.
“Discussion with neighbouring countries for transfrontier parks was vital as that would rationalise benefits.”