Chobe District has recorded 148 incidents of human wildlife conflict for the period between January and March 2023 which were mainly caused by elephants, lions and buffalo and this include cases in which two locals lost their lives due to buffalo attacks.
This was revealed by Chobe District Council Chairman Chimney Mululwani when addressing a full council session this week. According to him, so far 48 of these cases have already been compensated at an amount of Two Hundred and Eighty-Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-Eight Pula, Sixty-Thebe (P286, 684. 60).
He noted that as a step to speeding up compensation payments and relieving Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) officers from carrying cash, the department has introduced ‘Pula Cards,’ an automated prepaid card meant to cater for the unbanked Batswana.
Mululwani said while they are aware of the economic potential of wild animals, it should be noted that the animals have also remained a chronic challenge in the district for years. He stressed that this is largely due to the location of their villages between the Chobe River and the forests whereby movement of wildlife to and from these places occurs daily.
“It is however encouraging to note that, as a collective, we have started to intensify holistic and integrated approaches towards addressing this human-wildlife conflict. Debushing in some hotspots such as open areas and schools has begun and I am optimistic we will see outcomes at a large scale required,” he said.
When updating the council about Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM), Mululwani revealed that hunting quotas during this open season were procured at P4, 796, 800. 00 and P6, 283, 00.00 for the Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust and PALEKA Community Conservation Trust respectively. He further stated that the two community conservation trusts have procured 44 licenses of different species at an amount of P871, 00.00.
Effective from the 04th April 2023 hunting commenced at CH1, CH8 and CH12 by both Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust (CECT) and PALEKA Community Conservation Trust and the exercise is planned to end on the 19th September 2023.