Tutume district faces human-wildlife conflict surge

The government is prioritising the maintenance of border fence and inland fence to curb animal movement PIC: MAUVOO.COM
The government is prioritising the maintenance of border fence and inland fence to curb animal movement PIC: MAUVOO.COM

FRANCISTOWN: The Tutume District Council (TDC) has emerged as one of the areas that has been severely affected by cases of human-wildlife conflict.

This was disclosed by the council chairperson Million Masumbika when addressing a Full Council meeting recently. The increasing instances of human-wildlife conflict locally comes at a time when there is mounting pressure from a UK legislator who has come up with a member's Bill that purports to ban importation of hunting trophy into the UK. Some British MPs are pushing for a law prohibiting the importation of hunting trophies to the UK as a measure to protect endangered species. Masumbika said a total of 166 human-wildlife conflict cases were received since the beginning of October to date.

“Two hundred and eighty-five cases were compensated with an amount P426 000. Thirteen cases are owed an amount of P31 000,” he said. This week Masumbika said that the wild animals particularly elephants have destroyed farms, community dams and animal barrier fences along the road in several villages making up the district. Lions and other predators kill and prey on livestock in many parts of the district, he said. Villages such as Maitengwe, Dukwi and Tutume are some of the most affected in the district according to Masumbika. Despite the severity of human-wildlife conflicts, no human injuries were reported in the last quarter. With drought conditions persisting, Masumbika anticipates further incursions by elephants and other wildlife into the district. “ This is a drought year, and the conditions will ultimately force elephants and other wildlife to seek water and food in areas they would not typically venture into, such as villages and human settlements. The challenges posed by wild animals particularly elephants to farmers have really had significant economic repercussions for local communities reliant on agriculture and livestock in recent years. Farmers in the district have been making severe losses, “he explained.

Editor's Comment
Let’s get the constitutional amendment right

Their concerns highlight the need for meaningful dialogue between government and relevant stakeholders to ensure the best interests of the country are served.This was in addition to other voices from opposition politicians and civil society organisations.The stance underscores the importance of citizen participation in the constitutional amendment process. The AFM rightly assert that such weighty matters demand thorough discussions to reflect the...

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