‘Human and wildlife conflict, a serious concern’

By Nhau Mangirazi

KARIBA-Kariba Proportional Representative member of Parliament Christine Nyere is not happy over human and wildlife conflict which is becoming a serious threat to residents in Hurungwe and Kariba districts in Mashonaland West province.

Nyere, represents the tourist destination of resort Kariba district where cases of human and wildlife are a ‘daily curse’

She added that more needs to be done as many lives have been lost.

Nyere added, ‘‘As I speak right now, baboons are a menace in Kariba town. Elephants block some pupils to attend school as they roam around residential areas in our town. People are living in fear of these animals. While Kariba is tourist attraction where the big five animals including lions, elephants, buffaloes among others are around, residents have endured deaths due to human and wildlife conflict here,’’

Nyere’s comments come amid reports that some villagers in Pfundundu area of Hurungwe district lost more than 20 cattle and 30 goats killed by lions and leopards this year.

This has been caused due to overpopulation of game in protected areas driving animals into human settlements.

This week, Chief Chundu, Mr Abel Mbasera, told The Herald that villagers in Pfundundu area ward 7 are under threat from wildlife animals killing their livestock affecting their livelihoods.

Chundu called on for mechanisms to ensure communities living near game parks benefit from their natural resources.

He said, ‘‘The community lost over 50 livestock and people are living in fear because of these wild animals, and they are patrolling the area day and night since there is a nearby game park.

“People are supposed to earn a living through their livestock, they are supposed to benefit from them,” he said.

Chief Chundu made a passionate appeal to Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) to assist the community.

He added, “ZimParks should work together with community members, otherwise we may lose all the livestock,”

However, ZimParks spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo assured villagers that rangers will soon be deployed in the affected areas.

to avert further loss of animals and human life.

Farawo confirmed receiving reports from the affected communities.

He said, “We are receiving a lot of reports where animals are not only a danger to humans, but their habitat as well. Do not hesitate to inform us if there is a possibility to danger of wild animals, we quickly react to save lives. The situation is going to be worse in dry season where animals will move around in search of water and food,” he said.

According to Farawo  23 lives were lost and 28 people injured across Zimbabwe after being attacked by wild animals since January.

“People should benefit from wildlife, we do not want cases to escalate like this, let us work together because we do not recommend this,” said Mr Farawo.