HERDS of cattle are without water and cattle herders in the Ombalakadhila Village in the Omusati Region are in panic after a large herd of thirsty elephants moved into their area last night and occupied a number of boreholes and destroyed water tanks.
Nature conservationists are currently on their way to the area to investigate and see what can be done to prevent human-wildlife conflict.
Speaking to Informanté this afternoon, the Deputy Director for North-Central region in the directorate of Wildlife and National Parks, Rehabeam Erkki said that his office was notified about the presence of the elephants at the Ombalakadhila area and has already dispatched a team of officials to go and assess the situation and take appropriate action.
Andreas Onguwo, one of the farmers who cattle posts in the area have said that his animals and those of his neighbors have no access to water because their boreholes were occupied by elephants overnight and the giants appear to have no intention to leave.
“We have instructed our herders to stay away from the boreholes while awaiting the arrival of nature conservation officials,” he said.
According to him the elephants’ first appearance in the area was about two weeks ago. “They destroyed some of our water tanks and we reported their presence to nature conservation officials, but the moment the officials arrived the elephants were gone, only to come back again last night long after the officials had left the area,” he said.
Erkki said that elephants are roaming the area because of the current drought.
He pointed out that the elephants are not from the Etosha National Park but are “original residents” of the western parts of Omusati and the eastern parts of Kunene region.
“Elephants are territorial. They might move out of an area because of food, but they would come back even many decades later and find their former territory now occupied by humans. However, the bottom line is that it is our responsibility to avoid human-wildlife conflict,” said Erkki.