Botswana: Co-Existence Best Solution


By Ludo Chube, Daily News

Date Published

Parakarungu — Residents in Parakarungu and Kavimba have complained of conflict with wildlife taking place in their yards.

Speaking during kgotla meetings addressed by President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama in Kavimba and Parakarungu, residents said their lives were now in danger from the animals.
Kavimba deputy Kgosi, Josephat Mwezi said that elephants had become too many and have killed their source of livelihood in agriculture. “We have lost livestock to predators and we do not harvest much from our crops either,” he said adding that this has impoverished residents.
Deputy Kgosi of Parakarungu village, Mr Richard Nkonkwena noted that this year more than ever, they had experienced incidents of elephants making their way into people’s homes, which was rare. “I believe we are experiencing the effects of the hunting ban, and we have already lost some lives to elephants this year,” he noted.
He added that community trusts such as Chobe Enclave Community Trust were financially stranded as they were heavily reliant on revenues from hunting. “We never received funding from the government to augment this loss,” he said.
One resident from Kavimba, Ms Jester Mufanzala said that she had had three separate incidents in which elephants came into her yard as she lives on the edge of the village.
Another resident from Parakarungu Mr John Mainga likened the hunting ban to closing down diamond mines based on people stealing diamonds implying that it was unfair to have a hunting ban in place just because there were those who commit poaching.
He added that the prescribed chilli method of chasing away elephants was not effective as some ate up the chilli. President Khama advised residents to come up with suggestions on how best to co-exist with animals.
“I will engage the Department of Wildlife and National Parks on how these animals can be prevented from entering the village but I will also welcome suggestions,” he noted. He added that hunting would kill the tourism sector.
Commenting on the financial status of CECT, the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Mr Tshekedi Khama noted that he was surprised that they had no money yet never submitted proposals to the tourism development fund.
He however promised to host a wildlife Pitso before year-end to discuss wildlife issues further with all concerned stakeholders.
Member of Parliament for the area Mr Machana Shamukuni emphasised that the reason why human-wildlife issues kept cropping up was because it needed to be treated with utmost urgency.