The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism with support from the German Government and the financial support from GIZ inaugurated and handed over 18 boreholes to mitigate Human Wildlife Conflict and to enhance Community Livelihoods in the Kunene region on 12 November 2020 at Okonjota Village.
The water infrastructure was inaugurated and handed over by Pohamba Shifeta, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism alongside Dr Gabriele Geier, Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy.
The water infrastructure upgrade costed a total of N$7 million. The entire water infrastructure consists of the rehabilitation and upgrading of boreholes installed with new solar pumping systems, elephant protection walls and elephant dams have been constructed as well.
The growing wildlife populations in particular that of elephants have resulted in frequent human wildlife conflicts within the Kunene region hence requiring urgent intervention. Increased HWC incidences result in livestock and crop losses, damage to water infrastructure, and in some instances, loss of human lives.
According to Shifeta, the upgraded and rehabilitated infrastructure will serve both communities and wildlife (mainly elephants) in order to mitigate the impact of human wildlife conflict and improve community livelihoods.
Additionally, livestock drinking troughs were constructed and pipelines extended to provide water for the communities.
While inaugurating the infrastructure, Shifeta called upon conservancy committees to ensure community resources are utilized for the benefit of members. He expressed concern over continued maladministration of conservancy funds for personal gains by conservancy committees.
Shifeta appreciated the partnership with the German Government for their continuous support in particular for funding the rehabilitation and upgrading of the water infrastructure handed over to the communities.