Ongwediva-The Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Tommy Nambahu, has called for cooperation between the environment ministry and communities so that they peacefully co-exist with wild animals.
He made the call yesterday following a spate of incidents in which farmers in the north illegally shot and killed at least six lions that had reportedly hunted and killed several of their cattle.
Nambahu visited the areas north of Etosha National Park to assess the condition of the game-proof fence and gauge the views of farmers who have been complaining about their animals being killed by lions, and elephants destroying their crop fields.
On Wednesday he undertook a fact-finding mission in the area next to Etosha where the lions had attacked livestock.
Cattle herders and police officers informed Nambahu that livestock are crossing freely into the park and wild animals are moving out, especially elephants and lions.
Nambahu observed that the fence is dilapidated and should be declared a national issue.
But he said the rehabilitation of the fence should not be left in the hands of the ministry alone, suggesting that communities should also come in as volunteers to assist in fixing it.
He started his visit at Onoolongo, north of Etosha National Park where part of the fence has collapsed making it easy for animals to move in and out of the park.
From there Nambahu proceeded to Okahao in Omusati Region, where he held a consultative meeting with farmers who are farming next to the national park.
Nambahu was accompanied by Okatyali Constituency Councillor Joseph Mupetami.