By Chrispin Inambao
A groundbreaking compensation scheme in which relatives of villagers wildly trampled to death by elephants from the Mudumu National Park and victims of lions and monstrous, man-eating crocodiles is in place in Mashi area.
The unique scheme – the brainchild of the traditional leader of the Mashi community, Chief Joseph Tembwe Mayuni, in Kongola Constituency in Caprivi covers thousands of registered members of three trailblazing conservancies of Kwandu, Mayuni and Mashi.
Though the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has dilly-dallied over the introduction of a compensatory scheme for family members of people mauled to death by predatory animals such as lions, citing complexities that could arise from such a scheme, Chief Mayuni took it upon himself to initiate the scheme for his community in 2001.
The forerunner to the present game compensatory scheme successfully in operation in the several conservancies was an initiative implemented in 2001 that entailed a local lodge owner paying villagers in his area compensation of N$500 for each cow killed by lions.
In addition, the other benefit from the lodge was that the community was initially entitled to a share of three percent of the profits, though this has now increased significantly.
This impressed the Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) that they joined forces with the chief and signed a fifty-fifty agreement that involves the three conservancies and IRNDC that pay up to N$800 split between the two parties to villagers that lose their cattle to lions, hyenas, crocodiles and even leopards.
The chief says the N$800 is payable irrespective of the size of the livestock.
On top of this, registered members of the various conservancies whose relatives are killed by marauding jumbos, lions, crocodiles and hippos receive N$5??????’??