NKURENKURU - Whilst some residents of Kavango West Region have endured sleepless nights by the elephant raids, for 64-year-old resident of Marema village in Tondoro Constituency, nocturnal crop invasion on his field by hippos has become a handsome.
Emiliano Alberto who owns a three-and-half hectare crop field alongside the river earlier this month compelled him to leave the comfort zone of his homestead to a makeshift shack from where he wards off the large semiaquatic mammals that he said have almost each night been devouring his crops for some time since last year until now.
On the first of this month when he took the decision to go and stay at the crop-field, he said everyone in the house advised him against taking such a risk against hippos, saying he was risking his life because hippos are among the deadliest African wild animals.
But for him, he saw it as worth doing as the crop project provides for him and for his family, therefore he needed to protect it from getting destroyed.
He said the project is more prone to these mammals as it does not have a proper fence around it to protect it from the hippos.
“I have decided that we must dig trenches so that they will not be able to cross and enter the project because if you get a gun and shoot them, you will go to jail,” he said.
To him, should the situation continue, it will adversely impact on his crop yield and it will make life difficult for him and his family in terms of food security.
“I have school going children to take care of, I am unemployed and a pensioner. The old-age grant I receive is not enough, this is where there is money to take care of my children. Now should it be destroyed, were will I get assistance? I am now 64 years old. Lucky for me I do not like to sit doing nothing. I like to work. I do not like spending time at shebeens drinking alcohol,” he said.
The last time hippos invaded his field was at the beginning of this month and he even reported the incident to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism at its sub-station at Kahenge. Environment officials visited the project and assessed the damage