President Mokgweetsi Masisi is on record saying he was on course to fight and address human-wildlife conflict through consultations, something that is commendable coming from the country’s first citizen.
However, there is need for serious commitment from the President if he is genuine about confronting this problem as all along over the years, it has just been all but promises.
Many human lives are lost annually at the hands of wildlife while farmers lose their livestock to predators.
Also a large chunk of their grazing land is seriously damaged as it has now accommodated more than enough of wildlife.
The animal-human conflict in the northern part of Botswana has been rising in the past decade.
Although in the past in a bid to reduce human-animal conflict, government has since decided to set aside some millions of pula committed to end this, and for compensation, it has proven it is not the proper solution.
As it is, Batswana believe that government appears to be giving priority to wildlife over human life.
Masisi recently appointed a sub committee to look into the issue and made its recommendations.
Amongst their suggestions, they proposed that the hunting ban be lifted, efforts are taken to confine elephants to the protected areas and/or reduce the population through culling, and that the government should focus on reducing human-elephant conflict.
Whilst some of the recommendations were seen as controversial by many especially the Western countries, Masisi should do all in his power to end this conflict.
Batswana are not safe in their lands, cattlepost and homes. Something needs to be done to address the matter.
There is serious need for policy review to arrest the situation. We know it is not easy, with all the pressure from the western countries, however a solution has to be met soon.