Kavimba — Construction of an electric fence from Ngoma to Shaile would be too costly, the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Tshekedi Khama has said
Speaking during a recent kgotla meeting at Kavimba in Chobe District, Minister Khama said a similar fence in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park cost P17 million.
However, he raised a concern about reports that some people were stealing batteries and panels used in areas where electric fences were erected.
He said the fence would possibly agitate the elephants as it would prevent them from using routes that they normally travelled through and this could in turn worsen the human-wildlife conflict.
Kgosi Munitenge Sinvula of Kavimba said they requested for the fence because they believed it would act as a barrier between wildlife and the village.
A resident, Mr Machana Marumo suggested that the ministry should look into reducing the number of elephants in and around the park.
The ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, Mr Felix Monggae said due to the drought spell, wild animals ended up moving into the village.
Meanwhile, in another kgotla meeting in Parakarungu, Minister Khama said the ministry had drilled eight boreholes in the Chobe area in an attempt to reduce the number of elephants going into the villages. He said Botswana had the largest number of elephants in Africa, which totalled 200 000.
Meanwhile, Mr Monggae explained that four boreholes had been drilled within the Chobe National Park and another four between Lesoma and Pandamatenga.
This, he said, was in response to the Bio-Chobe Project, through which a request for provision of water points was put forth.
“Drought is the main reason animals roam into villages and their movement is not due to the absence of safari hunting as some residents of the Chobe District believe,” he justified.
The Chobe District Council chairperson, Mr Philemon Kachana, said experts that reviewed the report drawn from the Bio-Chobe Project meeting had highlighted that the number of elephants was stagnant but the movement patterns had changed due to lack of rainfall even though previously it was viewed that the number of elephants had multiplied.
A resident and former wildlife officer, Mr Petros Motewa, advised that the ministry should look into drilling more boreholes along Ngoma and Linyanti.
“Ideal locations for these boreholes would be Namuchira, Kashaba, Nxunxutsha and Goha.
This could result in elephant movement patterns ending in the high land and probably protecting villagers that live in the low land along the river.” he noted.