Human-wildlife conflicts rise in Namibia, minister blames animals

Elephants in Namibia, photo: Bernd Dittrich on Unsplash
Elephants in Namibia, photo: Bernd Dittrich on Unsplash

Namibia has seen a rise in human-wildlife conflicts involving elephants, buffaloes, rhinos and humans, the environment minister told parliament on Wednesday.

The African country is trying to find a balance between protecting wildlife animals while managing the danger when animals enter areas where humans live.

The country has sold some of its elephants while relocating others to national parks. In some cases, the government would kill animals, the minister said. The plans have upset conservationists.

Minister Pohamba Shifeta said that elephants had caused the most damage to crops, water infrastructure and property. Buffaloes were reported to be destroying crops, while lions attacked farm animals, and wild dogs are also causing conflict, he said.

Small-scale farmers living close to the Bwabwata National Park in northeastern Namibia say elephants are invading their fields and eating their near-mature crops.

Shifeta did not mention how humans have hurt wildlife animals, by taking their living space and destroying nature areas for them to hunt or find food. And if the government will financially support its farmers to build fences around their land.

The minister mostly focused on relocating or killing wildlife animals.

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