RUNDU, 05 APR – Communities living near rivers and floodplains in north-eastern Namibia have been cautioned not to engage in behaviour that might expose them to crocodile or hippo attacks.
Last week, a 28-year-old woman and her baby died in a crocodile attack in Kavango East, while a 45-year-old man was attacked and killed by a hippopotamus in the Zambezi Region.
Mungomba Maria Magdalena and her four-month-old baby were killed by a crocodile in the Shighuru area in Kavango East last Sunday. She was busy washing clothes.
In the Zambezi Region, Mahoto Mwilima was attacked and killed by a hippo on the Linyanti River in the Maunga area while fishing.
Ministry of Environment and Tourism Wildlife and National Parks Director, Colgar Sikopo said in a statement issued on Thursday these incidents are of concern to the ministry, especially the crocodile attacks on people swimming and washing their clothes in rivers.
“With the current good rains in certain parts of the country, the river levels are rising and floods have already been experienced in some areas. The crocodiles, hippos, snakes and other wetland wild animals are also moving with the water,” he said.
Sikopo urged parents, traditional and community leaders to warn their children against swimming or washing themselves in rivers.
People have also been advised to collect water from the river and immediately move to the riverbanks to conduct their usual activities such as washing themselves or their clothes, or do so at their villages.
“Those fishing should be very careful, vigilant and should conduct their fishing in the safest manner possible,” Sikopo said.
He said the ministry’s staff are under instruction to give information and assist the communities along the rivers so they can protect themselves from these animals.