WINDHOEK, 06 APR – The families of people killed by wild animals will receive compensation of N.dollars 100 000 from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, according to the revised Human Wildlife Conflict Policy.
This was revealed by Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Bernadette Jagger in the National Assembly on Thursday.
Jagger was however quick to note that the N.dollars 100 000 in compensation does not necessarily imply the value of human life.
“The value of a person’s life cannot be assessed in monetary terms. Life is just life and we are all equal before God,” she said, before adding that the money is aimed at assisting the family of a victim with funeral expenses and to re-establish itself.
Jagger said the intention of the policy is not to pay for the exact value of livestock or crops lost, but “to offset losses caused to communities or farmers”.
Statistics provided by the deputy minister showed that 930 livestock were killed by wild animals in 2016, while 1 421 were killed last year. So far this year, 187 livestock have been killed by wild animals.
During the same period, nine people were killed by wild animals in 2016 and six in 2017. So far, four people have been killed in 2018.
In the latest incidents 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.
Jagger said it pains the ministry when someone dies in such attacks, especially since many of the incidents can be avoided or managed.
She said the majority of human-wildlife conflict victims are killed by crocodiles while swimming or washing clothes.
“These are incidences that can be avoided,” she said.
The policy also makes provision for the establishment and implementation of technical solutions to mitigate human-wild-life conflict, Jagger added.
The Human Wildlife Conflict Policy was drawn up after a consultative workshop held by the ministry where the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resource was in attendance in February 2017.