'Review compensation for wildlife attacks'

SHARE   |   Monday, 26 March 2018   |   By Solomon Tjinyeka
'Review compensation for wildlife attacks'

North West District Councillors (NWDC) have called on the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism to review compensation policy for wildlife attacks. Leading the discussion on the issue in a meeting last week, councillors from Okavango sub district expressed concern about the compensation policy on wildlife attacks arguing that it discriminates people who have been injured by wild animals such as elephants, lions and hippos. Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillor for Gani/Nxaunxau, Marobela Ledimo asked  the department of Wildlife and National Parks to explain the compensation policy as it has loopholes on survivors of the attacks. He said even though Government has taken a deliberate step to compensate families of those  killed by wild animals with P70, 000 it does not cater for survivors. This burdens their families with medical expenses, for which they are only refunded half the costs upon producing receipts. Ledimo said between 2016 and 2018 elephants killed eight people and injured nine in the Okavango sub district. He complained that the compensation policy does not cater for other dangerous animals such as snakes and hyenas that can also kill people. Councillor Mpoke Karapo of Botswana Congress party (BCP) concurred that the policy should be reviewed to cover survivors, because some victims end up paralysed after the attacks. “Some end up being physically disabled and end up losing their jobs. So the policy must include the survivors of the attacks for compensation,” he said. Meanwhile, residents of Nokaneng in the Okavango sub district have petitioned the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism Tshekedi Khama to come and address them on the continuous issues of human/wildlife conflicts especially elephant attacks on people. The residents sent a 10 man delegation to present the petition to the District Commissioner's Office last week.