By Chrispin Inambao
A fisherman died while being transported to a nearby clinic for treatment following an attack by a buffalo that violently cut short a fishing expedition along the Chobe River in Kabulabula area in the Caprivi Region.
The victim will be buried today.
The victim, Chika Kamwi, and a friend Simasiku Mulenamaswe were carrying some fishing nets they wanted to cast into the Chobe River when a buffalo charged.
According to Chrispin Nkonkwena, the Chief Warden for the North-East, the beast charged unseen from a patch of long grass lining the footpath along which the two were walking, trampling on Kamwi. It also gored him while he helplessly screamed for help.
After the attack, his friend Mulenamaswe ran to the nearest village where villagers harnessed oxen to a wooden sleigh to transport the victim to Mbalasinte Clinic for treatment.
He, however, succumbed to injuries sustained in the attack on the way to the clinic.
The incident occurred last week at around 06h00.
Nkonkwena said the environment and tourism office dispatched a team to Kabulabula in the flood-prone Kabbe Constituency, to track down the beast but to no avail.
He said postmortem results are expected today.
In a separate incident, Sinambao Victor Sinambao, 23, died when a hippo rammed a canoe that was on a fishing expedition along the Chobe River, tossing a group of panic-stricken fishermen into the crocodile-infested river, resulting in the victim drowning.
Though the incident took place more than three weeks ago, Sinambao’s body has not yet been recovered despite several search parties involving villagers and environment and tourism officials.
The incident took place in Kabulabula, an area teeming with game.
Nkonkwena said the group whose fishing mission was abruptly disrupted by a hippo – an animal that is famed for its ferociousness and kills more people in Africa than other wild animals – did not see the danger lurking underneath the surface of the river.
During the hippo attack, the dugout canoe got smashed to pieces while two other fishermen managed to escape after they safely swam to the other side of the river.
Meanwhile, Vincent Mwilima the game warden in charge of the Katima Mulilo office said daily he gets reports of elephants devouring and destroying maize fields particularly at Ngoma, Izimwe, Sikanjabuka, Masida, Malengalenga and Sikaunga.
Mwilima said some of the fields have been stripped bare.
Nkonkwena added that incidents involving these pachyderms devouring villagers’ crops are unavoidable considering the fact that villagers plough in what he called “wild-life corridors”.
Nkonkwena said the ministry cannot deploy game wardens in the areas where this problem exists because there are just too many crop fields and this would be impractical.
Mwilima says the problem of elephants entering people’s fields is expected to increase around April/May when floodwaters subside and more of these free-roaming beasts would wander into Caprivi in search of greener pasture.
Some of the areas in eastern Caprivi are well vegetated with permanently waterlogged soils.