Three DWNP Officers Killed By Wild Animals In The Past Five Years

Date:

…while 13 sustained injuries

13 employees of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) were injured by wild animals while three lost their lives between 2019 and 2024, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has revealed.

Answering a question from Ntlo Ya Dikgosi on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Tourism this week, Assistant Minister of Local Government, Setlhapelo Modukanele said there is a level of risk associated with managing wildlife as evidenced by injuries and deaths to the public wildlife officers inclusive.

Kgosi Kebonyetsala Fish had asked the Minister to state the number of employees under the DWNP who have been injured and killed by wild animals in the past five years and also asked if is not opportune for the ministry to consider introducing risk allowance for wildlife officers.

In response, the assistant minister stated that to mitigate such risks the wildlife officers undergo training to equip them with special skills to be able to exercise their duties with minimal risk of both injuries and deaths. Modukanele indicated that such training ranges from animal behaviour, bush craft, survival skills, work on handing as well as first aid amongst others.

“While I appreciate that the introduction of the risk allowance will be a welcome improvement of conditions of service for the wildlife officers, it is however unlikely to reduce the risk of injury or death due to wild animals. But to do so, my ministry is committed to improving the quality and frequency of courses under the Botswana Wildlife Training Institute in Maun that offer wildlife officers skills required for their operations,” he said.

Furthermore, Modukaanele added that the ministry is working to improve the working conditions of the wildlife workforce by continuously engaging the relevant structures. However, the assistant minister told Ntlo Ya Dikgosi that for now it would be remise to divulge the details of their discussions with the relevant stakeholders at this early stages of their engagements. He assured the house that they will be kept appraised as the development stages unfolds.

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