N$3.3 million for families affected by human-wildlife conflict

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism paid out a total N$3.3 million translating to N$100 000 per affected family from 2019 to date to bereaved families across the country that lost relatives due to human-wildlife conflict.

The financial assistance was provided in the form of covering funeral expenses to those who lost their family members.

Within the same period the ministry also paid over N$2.9 million for livestock losses; N$2.6 million for crop damages; N$640 000 for injuries and N$14 000 was paid to conservancies to offset human-wildlife conflict losses to their members.

Romeo Muyunda, the ministry’s spokesperson said most of the conflicts were cause by crocodiles, hippos and elephants.

“The Ministry has administered 33 claims f or loss life of which 15 were in 2022 and 2 so far in 2023 with crocodiles, hippos and elephants being the main culprits. In terms of crop damages, 2637 hectares was destroyed by wild animals of which 270 hectares was recorded in 2022 and 60 hectares so far in 2023 mainly by


Additionally, a total 862 livestock were killed by predators mainly crocodiles, hyenas, lions, wild dogs, leopard and jackals of which 204 was recorded in 2022 and nine in 2023 to date.

Cabinet approved a new policy for human-wildlife conflict compensation in 2017, with families of victims set to receive N$100 000 wherere a person is killed by a wild animal , while the state will compensate between N$10 000 and N$30 000 for injuries, depending on the severity.

Victims who become disabled will be paid N$50 000 as compensation.

For loss of large livestock such as cattle, N$3 000 will be paid out, while N$500 will be paid for a goat, N$700 for a sheep, N$800 for a horse, and N$500 for a donkey, while restitution for a pig will be N$700.

Crop damages will be compensated at N$250 for one quarter of a hectare, and N$1 000 for one hectare.

The ministry said it has created a national policy on human-wildlife conflict management that highlights the different types of conflicts and potential solutions to reduce their effects.

“Together with other stakeholders, we are involved and implementing measures such as elephant and lion collaring; early warning system; lion ranger programme; construction of predator-proof kraals, translocation of problem-causing animals; declarations and destruction of problem-causing animals and wildlife population management. The ministry would like to urge communities and property owners in human-wildlife conflict-prone areas to put in place preventative and mitigation measures,” he advised. Muyunda explained the overall principle behind Namibia’s conservation of natural resources is enshrined in the country’s constitution, that such resources are protected to benefit the country’s current and future generations,” Muyunda said.

By Observer