Tutume urges action on rising human-wildlife conflict

Wild animals used to be restricted to areas or villages that are close to the national parks
Wild animals used to be restricted to areas or villages that are close to the national parks

FRANCISTOWN: The deputy council chairperson of the Tutume District Council, Anthony Chebane, has called on the government to urgently come up with strong measures to counter growing cases of human-wildlife conflict in the District.

Chebane made the call recently during an Ordinary Full Council meeting where he tabled a motion in which he sought the Minister of Wildlife and Tourism, Dumezweni Mthimkhulu, to come and address councillors in the district on interventions meant to curb growing instances of human-wildlife conflict in Tutume. The motion was wholly endorsed by the councillors. Chebane illustrated that in the past, wild animals used to be restricted to areas or villages that are close to the national parks but now there is a dramatic shift. “Our District, which is not in the proximity of national parks or areas that are widely known for accommodating wildlife, is now infested with wildlife. The government should come up with urgent and strong measures to win the battle against growing instances of human-wildlife conflict before the situation spirals out of control,” he said.

Statistics also bear credence to suggestions that the District has over the last few years turned into an epicentre of human-wildlife cases. Between October last year and March this year, a total of 166 human-wildlife conflict cases were reported in the area with elephants accounting for the bulk of the cases. In the 2022/2023 financial year, the District recorded 323 cases of human-wildlife conflict. The destruction was mostly in farms. Of the 323 cases, 169 were caused by elephants followed by 97 reports of damages caused by lions, but there was no loss of life or major injuries to humans. “Government spend millions of pula compensating farmers for the destruction caused by wild animals in the District. The amount of money used to compensate farmers is rising on an annual basis. Issuing huge amounts as compensation will not be sustainable in the long run unless there are solid interventions to prevent human-wildlife conflict cases,” said Chebane. The government spent a substantial amount on compensating farmers around the country for damages caused by problem animals, with P148 million disbursed between 2018 and 2023.

Editor's Comment
Stop the children killing madness!

The incident comes on the heels of a similar one where a father murdered his two toddlers in Francistown. As we grapple with the shock and sorrow of this loss, it is essential to address the underlying issues that led to such a horrific outcome.Our hearts go out to the innocent victims, the three boys aged 13, 10, and eight who lost their lives in circumstances that defy comprehension. Their deep cuts and untimely demise have left a scar on the...

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