Namibia rehabilitates one of Africa’s largest parks

The Namibian government last week launched the rehabilitation of the Etosha National Park, one of Africa’s largest animal sanctuaries, in a bid to cut down poaching and reduce human-wildlife conflict problems.

Despite being one of Namibia’s prime tourist destinations, Etosha National Park has been haunted by poaching by both locals as well as other suspects from Angola and Zambia.

Namibian Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, said the move was taken to safeguard the lives of the villagers living in the vicinity of the national park as well as reduce illegal access to the national park by poachers.

Shifeta said the Namibian government also took over the rehabilitation of a boundary fence of the national park which has a diameter of about 800 kilometres to save the government from spending more than necessary through using middle men.

“So far we have covered about 140 kilometres of the boundary fence for about N$10 million which is far less than what government would have used had we gone to tender. The rehabilitation is being done by our staff on a voluntary basis with the help of the friends of the park who are contributing in kind,” he said.

Shifeta also said as part of the Namibian government’s quest to improve the lives of the locals living in conservancies around the national park, they were pushing for a deliberate policy where proceeds of trophy hunting in this area would be utilised to build infrastructure including schools, hospitals and public roads.

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Source: The Southern Times