[Article submitted by Barry MacKay, BornFree: The culture in Botswana is different than what we may be used to and for whatever historical reason, cattle are a virtual, if not actual, rate of exchange among rural people and peasants, outnumbering the human population and responsible for ecological damage. There is also a huge diamond industry (which, like cattle, is highly water-dependent). Much of the country is extremely arid (and includes the Kalahari desert) with great wetlands at the northern end, attractive to vast numbers of wildlife. BKM
By Omphile Ntakhwana, The Daily News, Botswana
MAUN - No one will be allowed to hunt wildlife in Botswana, come 2014,
President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has announced.
He said wildlife numbers were decreasing at an alarming rate, hence the
"Next year will be the last time anyone is allowed to hunt in Botswana
and we have realised that if we do not take care of our animals, we will
have a huge problem in terms of tourism," President Khama told Sankoyo and
Mababe residents last week.
The President also decried the rate at which poachers were killing
"We have increased the number of soldiers and police officers that patrol
our game parks. Yesterday our officers apprehended five people with 12
elephant tusks in the Chobe area. Two of them are Batswana and three are
Zimbabweans," said President Khama.
He said government was aware of people's complaint about damages caused by the elephants in their villages, especially in the farms.
"There is someone who will come to this district next week, starting with
Khwai village. That person will help you chase away elephants from your
villages by using certain methods that he has been taught," he said.
He indicated that elephants were the main attraction of tourists to
Botswana hence he could never allow for them to be killed. He also informed
residents that compensation for damage done to farms by elephants would be
100 per cent instead of the current 35 per cent.
"As for those who lose cattle because of lions and other predators,
compensation will be cattle," he said.
President Khama indicated that compensation would be done after extensive
He also appealed to residents to help law enforcement officers in
In South Africa, he said, poachers killed 440 rhinos last year and this
year they had so far killed 450.
Earlier on, residents of Sankoyo had complained to President Khama about
elephants that were damaging their crop fields and lions which killed their
They also pleaded with the President to extend the hunting season since
elephants were too many in their village.
While in Mababe, President Khama told residents that if it was their wish
to change the constituency, then the delimitation exercise had to be done
He said Mababe was administered from North West District while
politically it fell under the Chobe District.
He was answering a question from villagers who wanted to know whether
Mababe fell under the North West or Chobe district.
Residents also wanted to know why Tawana Land Board had stopped
allocating plots in Mababe.
For her part, the land board secretary, Ms Tlotlego Rampha informed
residents that allocation of plots was still suspended because they were
still awaiting a decision from government to convert some of its state land
to tribal land.
"We realised later that the land that we were giving to Batswana was
state land hence we suspended it and still waiting for authorisation to
convert some of the state land into tribal land," she said.
Ms Rampha assured residents that the land board would not confiscate the land that they had already allocated.