Record set straight on compensating wildlife victims

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has clarified comments by its minister Pohamba Shifeta people attacked and killed by wild animals, saying it will pay N$100 000 to victims’ families as long as there was no negligence on the victim’s part.

According to environment and tourism spokesperson Romeo Muyunda, contrary to the interpretation of some, the ministry’s stance is it would not pay the N$100 000 if its investigation proved there was negligence on the part of the victim. In the same vein where people have been attacked and killed by hippos and crocodiles and where there was no negligence noted, their families will be paid the N$100 000 offset fee – the term the ministry prefers over ‘compensation’.

“This is not to imply that [the family of] anyone that is killed by hippos or crocodiles will not be paid the amount, but rather to caution the public that even though there is such a provision, there are requirements for this amount to be paid. One of the requirements is that the ministry must conduct investigations when such incidences occur to ascertain itself that there was no negligence,” Muyunda stressed. Muyunda noted that human/wildlife conflict has become more frequent and the ministry of environment wants to put measures in place to reduce such attacks and to mitigate human/wildlife conflict. “We constantly call upon the public to refrain from undertaking activities that may endanger their lives, particularly those who live along our rivers and flood plains. The minister gave an example of swimming and doing laundry in the river as risky practices that can be avoided,” he said.

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