By Staff Reporter

In March a 49 years old man, Mr Abnier Iyambo, was killed by an elephant in Omusati region. Omutumwa posed a few questions to Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism’s spokesperson Mr Romeo Muyunda concerning the man’s death.

Omutumwa: How did the elephants come in contact with the person?

Muyunda: According to the investigation conducted by the Ministry, the deceased alongside his wife, daughter and two other men attempted to chase three elephants out of the crop field. In the process the elephants charged and fatally attacked Mr. Abnier at around 18h00; the other five managed to escape unhurt.

Omutumwa: How much will the victim’s family be compensated?

Muyunda: The Ministry does not compensate for victims. However the Ministry gave the victim’s family N$100 000 for funeral assistance as provided for in our Human Wildlife Conflict Management Policy.

Omutumwa: How will incidents of this nature be avoided?

Muyunda: Incidents of human wildlife conflict cannot be completely avoided, however the Ministry is putting in place mitigation measures to reduce the impact; such measures include:

Human Wildlife Conflict (HWC) Self Reliance Scheme –

  • Dissemination of information about the effectiveness of specific methodologies that are appropriate for addressing HWC in each region.
  • To provide a framework for the removal of problem-causing animals when appropriate.
  • To ensure that all relevant stakeholders are aware of the need for HWC prevention and mitigation measures and have access to information on how to manage HWC according to their own circumstances and requirements.
  • To reduce the impact on park neighbors of wildlife that leaves protected areas and causes problems.
  • To ensure that Human Wildlife Conflict management and Disaster Risk Reduction programmes are in line with the Disaster Risk Management Act, 2012 (Act no. 10 OF 2012).
  • To provide the means to directly offset the losses of communities and individual farmers caused to livestock and crops.

In the photo: A mother-elephant is one of the most aggressive wild animals if it came in contact with humans. (image by animalstime.com)

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