A GOAT farmer and tour guide from Kunene Region have walked all the way from the Kunene River to the Khomas Region to raise awareness about the continuous poisoning of crocodiles and vegetation.
The journey of nearly a thousand kilometres took Owen Kataparo 26 days to complete. Kataparo reached Windhoek on Tuesday morning and he is going to see the minster of Environment and Tourism.
He said the experience was so graceful and sometimes sleeping in the branches of large trees to avoid predators and in culverts under roads to protect himself against the elements. It is about a 960-kilometre walk.
According to Katarapo, his aim was to create awareness among people he met along the way. He also visited schools and spoke to community members about poisoning and poaching, as well as the floods that cause damage to certain parts along the Kunene River Valley.
“I am calling for better control and management of the Kunene River Valley and the dams, to avoid habitat destruction due to increased population along the sensitive riverbanks,” he said and added “If we cannot find a way to convince farmers that the crocodiles are of value to them we won’t be able to save any crocodiles. We need your help! We need ideas. But the crocs cannot simply be eradicated because the farmers are threatened by them.”
Romeo Muyunda, spokesperson of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism said the poisoning is occurring on the Angolan side of the river.
“Already the Angolan authorities were notified and engagements are ongoing between the authorities from the two countries. We also believe that any interventions, in this case, must be made through the relevant authorities, since this the matter is currently under investigation,” said Muyunda.