The environment ministry is mapping out wildlife corridors, to determine movement areas of wild animals in order to prevent human-wildlife conflict.
This is part of the ministry’s long term solution in intensifying efforts to manage the conflict, while specific mitigation, as well as preventative measures, are being put in place to manage such issues.
A number of human-wildlife conflict incidences involving elephants, buffaloes, and predators such as lions are being reported on a daily basis in some parts of Namibia, which the ministry is attending to.
Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta recently announced in the National Assembly the wildlife corridor strategy for the Zambezi region has been finalised and will be launched soon.
“We are currently working on and finalising the wildlife corridor strategy for the Kunene, Erongo and Omusati regions. Kavango West and Kavango East regions will follow thereafter,” he said.
The ministry is also developing species management plans that will guide the long-term management of species including human-wildlife conflict caused by these animals. Shifeta reported the elephant management and conservation plan has just been finalised, and this year the ministry pledged to prioritise plans on lions, wild dogs, and buffaloes.
“These unfortunate incidences are also worrisome and raise many concerns to us. With the current good rains in certain parts of the country, the river levels are rising and floods are already experienced in some areas.
Crocodiles, hippos, snakes, and other wild animals including elephants are also moving with the water,” said the minister.
He, therefore, cautioned communities and the public not to take risks that may result in human-wildlife conflict or cause loss of human lives.
Shifeta promised to continue creating innovative mechanisms to reduce the level of human-wildlife conflict and to ensure that the benefits of conservation management far outweigh the costs, and build on the significant successes in managing human-wildlife conflict. Other measures include, when necessary, destruction of the specific declared problem causing animals.
The ministry recently put down three lions in Omusati that have been causing havoc to communities and their livestock in the area.
The ministry also put down two crocodiles in the Zambezi that have been causing problems.
Other methods to avoid human-wildlife conflicts include the use of chilli pepper fences and chilli bombs, the use of traditional methods of drums, whips, vuvuzelas, and loud noises.
Other methods are capture and relocation to national parks or areas where they cannot cause problems, and the creation of water points for elephants at a distance from homesteads or villages.
Moreover, the sale of elephants and, drive and chase them away is another curbing method.
In this regard, the process of selling some of the elephants is currently at a stage of seduction and negotiation of contracts, and the elephant population in specific hotspot areas will be reduced to minimize the conflict as the ministry sells these animals.