Sankoyo Trust Reviews Management Plan To Include Hunting

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Sankoyo Tshwaragano Management Trust (STDT) which operates in NG 33 is currently working on reviewing its management plan to be able to do hunting in the next hunting season.

The trust, which was initially involved in hunting and photographic tourism changed its management plan in 2014 to cater for the former only after a hunting ban was imposed in Botswana. Following the lifting of the hunting ban, the trust now wants to revert to its initial operation that practiced both.

This was revealed by Kgosi Gokgathang Moalosi of Sankoyo during a media tour hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism over the weekend to appreciate the community beneficiation of hunting.

Moalosi explained that the trust changed its management plan to photographic tourism following a directive to do so.

He lamented that the change has since disadvantaged his community as elephant-human conflict has greatly increased over the years since 2014. He said currently, communities are unable to utilise the trust’s initiative to plough for locals as they never get to harvest their produce due to elephants.

When they practiced hunting, Moalosi said they were able to control elephant movements from homesteads to grazing areas adding that farmers were able to plough and harvest without the animals having to raid their crops.

“Our concession was divided into two sections where on the wetland side we did photographic and on the dry area we practiced hunting. By hunting in the dry area we were able to drive elephants into photographic areas which were undisturbed and far from homesteads,” Moalosi said.

He emphasised that through hunting the trust was also able to generate more income as compared to photographic and it was also able to implement several projects which changed lives in the community.

“Though photographic tourism is sustainable because it is done all year around as compared to hunting which is seasonal, hunting brings in more money for community beneficiation within a short period of time,” Moalosi stressed.

Meanwhile, STMT manager, Nkgolola Samakata has revealed that they were able to wire 56 house-holds in Sankoyo to take advantage of the government’s initiative to install free electricity, indicating that some have already been connected by the Botswana Power Corporation. He further indicated that they have embarked on a project to construct toilets for every house hold in the village to improve sanitation as well as avoid incidents of people losing their lives to wildlife when using the bushes.

“We also have a tertiary sponsorship program for our beneficiaries where prospective students select courses of their preference and we sponsor and also offer them living allowances,” Samakata added.

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