Mbumba’s urgent intervention required in rhino poaching incidents: Venaani

OSHAKATI: Leader of the Official Opposition McHenry Venaani has called on President Nangolo Mbumba to urgently take heed of the worrying indicators of rhino poaching in the country and address the matter with the urgency that it requires.

Venaani in a media statement on Wednesday said: ‘The inefficiency of government in dealing with this matter should be addressed by the Presidency with immediate effect, as the continued poaching of rhinos not only undermines the country’s conservation efforts but also tarnishes our international reputation.’

He said Namibia is home to a small population of rhinos, consisting of 6000 black rhinos and 15000 white rhinos, with close to 300 being poached over the past five years.

Venaani’s call follows the latest figures released by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism this week that a total of 28 rhinos were poached since the beginning of the year, with no case of elephant poaching recorded.

According to the ministry, 19 of the rhinos were poached in the Etosha
National Park of which 10 were discovered during dehorning operations throughout the month of March.

The figures further showed that four white rhinos were also reported to have been poached on a private farm in the Otjozondjupa region, this brings the total of rhinos poached in private farms in the country to five for the year.

Additionally, three rhinos were poached in rhino custodianship farms, and 1 in the Kunene region bringing the overall total to 28 for the year consisting of 19 black and 9 white rhinos.

Venaani noted that: ‘It is even more troubling to note that despite the Ministry of Environment and Tourism efforts to bolster the anti-poaching drive by procuring 13 horses at a reported cost of N.dollars 130 000, poaching and illegal hunting continues to proliferate.’

He added that the significant investment made by the government, with taxpayers’ money should yield tangible results.

‘The preservation of our environment and its ecosystem is paramount and requires decisive action to ensure the su
rvival of our rhino population for generations to come,’ he noted.

Venaani went on to say that measures should be taken to not only root out corruption within law enforcement agencies but also to hold them accountable as it is worrying that reports suggest that these very officials are complicit in facilitating these criminal activities.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency