Kavimba — Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Mr Tshekedi Khama, says his ministry owes about P7 million in compensation for destruction or death caused by wild animals.
Speaking during a kgotla meeting at Kavimba, Mr Khama said he requested for P7 million but only managed to get P4 million, which was not enough for compensating farmers.
“The money we had received for compensation was depleted in September this year, and a request for supplementary funding will be forwarded to the next parliamentary session in February next year. This will be done if we are unable to obtain money from the savings in the votes from other departments within the ministry towards the end of the financial year,” he explained.
The minister stated that the last payments made for compensation was in September this year.
A resident, Mr Jackson Maruza, asked whether those preparing for the ploughing season would be compensated when wildlife destroyed structures found in the fields though they did not have growing crops.
“I had fenced my field and put up gum poles and unfortunately elephants that were roaming in the village walked through the fence pulling off the gum poles along at the same time,” he said.
Another resident, Mr Baleseng Monare requested that honey badger be included in the animals that attracted compensation if they caused damages.
“This small animal is a threat day and night and it recently killed five of my chickens,” he cried.
Meanwhile, Chobe District wildlife officer, Mr Balisana Marotsi said Mr Monare will be assisted with new skills on preventing honey badgers from entering his chicken coop.
“In Lesoma, we have taught those who breed chickens to dig their chicken mesh wire into the ground and turn it up so that when the badger tries to dig, the turned up mesh will prevent it from entering the chicken nest.