THE Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, has said that since 2019, the ministry has paid offset amounts to losses caused by wild animal amounting to over N$24, 1 million, while administering 33 claims for loss life of which 15 were in 2022 and 2 so far in 2023.
In addition to this, 54 people were injured within the same period, 15 in 2022 and 3 in 2023 to date.
Romeo Muyunda, the spokesperson of the environment ministry explained that most of these deaths were caused by crocodile, hippo and elephants attacks.
“Incidences of Human Wildlife Conﬂict (HWC) remain a concern as they seem to overshadow the beneﬁts as well as opportunities created for Namibians. These incidences mainly involve livestock losses, crop damages, loss of life and injuries both affecting the livelihoods of our people,” Muyunda said.
He added that consequently the Ministry has paid N$2 963 852,00 for livestock losses; N$2 569 200,00 for crop damages; N$640 000 for injuries; N$3 300 000.00 for loss of life from 2019 to date.
Within the same period, N$14 695 110,00 was paid to conservancies to offset HWC Muyunda detailed.
He added that in terms of crop damages, 2637 hectares was destroyed by wild animals of which 270 hectares was recorded in 2022 and 60 hectares so far in 2023 mainly by elephants.
A total of 862 livestock were killed by predators mainly crocodiles, hyenas, lions, wild dogs, leopard and jackals of which 204 was recorded in 2022 and 9 in 2023 to date.
Albeit these losses, Muyunda said that the ministry is making significant progress in uplifting Namibians through conservation.
One avenue to derive such beneﬁts is through the community-based conservation programme which has created employment and income generation opportunities.
In 2021 through the conservancy programme, Muyunda said that a total of 3548 employment opportunities was facilitated, comprising of 998 community members employed in conservancies.
Muyunda said that the Conservancies generated cash income and in-kind beneﬁts to rural communities totalling to N$91.7 million beneﬁting 238 701 community members. Of this, conservation hunting generated N$ 25,952,651 with a meat value of N$ 9,267,048, tourism generated N$ 53,838,083, indigenous plants and other income generated N$ 1,029,191 and N$ 1,658,805 respectively.
The Ministry is also engaged in providing meat to community and national events.