Namibia has revised the country’s human – wildlife conflict policy and will now compensate families of people killed by wild animals including crocodiles and hippos with up to 100,000 Namibian dollars ($8,297).
Statistics provided by the ministry of environment and tourism showed that nine people were killed by wild animals in 2016, and six in 2017.
In 2018, four people have so far been killed, three by crocodiles and the other by a hippo.
The policy, drawn up after a consultative workshop in February 2017, makes provision for the establishment and implementation of technical solutions to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.
The environment minister, Pohamba Shifeta, however added that families of people who are killed by crocodiles and hippos while swimming and bathing in rivers will not get any compensation.
“We will not pay N$100 000 for people killed by crocodiles and hippos while swimming or bathing in rivers, because that situation can be avoided,” he stated.
The minister therefore urged parents, traditional and community leaders to warn children against swimming and bathing in rivers as this puts their lives in danger of being attacked and killed by crocodiles and hippos.
The minister was launching a conservancy dedicated to elephants and crocodiles in the Kavango West region. Shifeta welcomed the community’s cooperation in establishing the conservancy saying they stand to benefit economically from the revenue that accrues from wildlife tourism.
Shifeta urged community members who depend on rivers for water to conduct activities such as bathing and the washing of clothes on the banks of rivers to collect the water, and wash and bath at home.