The police in Maun were this week investigating an incident in which a 48-year-old man of Moeti ward in Maun was killed by an elephant on August 11.
A police source said this happened near Maun around noon. The source said in an interview with BOPA that the man was with two relatives when the incident occurred. The man was reportedly rushed to Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital, where he was confirmed dead. The other two managed to escape, the source said. Police investigations are continuing.
Elephants in search of water attracted by sewage water in Maun area
Lately, not one week seems to pass without news of yet another life lost in a Human-Wildlife Conflict. In the past few weeks, we’ve heard of elephant sightings in and around Maun town centre. Just this week, we saw a post on Facebook of evidence of elephants passing through Maun International Airport, right in the centre of Maun.
As Botswana’s Human-Wildlife Conflict continues to escalate, news reached YourBotswana this week that the elephants coming into Maun are attracted by Moeti sewage water, which isn’t surprising because of the drought Botswana is currently in the grip of. The elephants regularly spotted around the Moeti area are seemingly attracted by the sewage water, which they drink out of the dilapidated Moeti sewage ponds. So far, a life has already been lost when the person happened upon the elephants at their ‘watering hole’.
This year, as the rivers lie dry due to the heavily delayed floods from Angola, there has been a sharp spike in Human-Wildlife Conflict incidents. The locals, however, feel the government has dragged its feet in responding to calls to address severe water shortages as well as the sinking of boreholes to water the wildlife. According to Botswana Safari News, Elephants Protection Society’s Oaitse Nawa has described the situation as bad. Nawa has been quoted saying the severely dry conditions have forced farmers to resort to sinking shallow wells on the dried river bed, which the elephants have destroyed.
“My organisation has offered its services to help drive away the elephants but the wildlife officials are sabotaging all our efforts.” – Nawa.
The deplorable state of the sewerage ponds has been a source of concern for a while. Recently, some residents took the law into their hands and locked the entrance into the ponds, citing unhealthy conditions. They were arrested and spent the night in police cells. The government has previously said the ponds would be addressed during the planned Maun Phase Two water project.
Buffalo kills woman, leave baby unharmed in Chobe area
In a separate Human-Wildlife Conflict incident, Kachikau police were this week investigating an incident in which a buffalo killed an 80-year-old woman on the outskirts of Kavimba in the Chobe area. The local police said a passerby who found an un-harmed seven-month old baby girl in the bush next to the lifeless body of her grandmother called it in. The buffalo was spotted a few metres away from the duo as if standing guard.
The elderly woman was certified dead at the hospital, while the baby was treated and discharged. The woman had reportedly gone into the bush in search of her missing goats.
This is the second incident this month in which a wild animal killed a person in the Kachikau area.
References: Botswana Safari News, BWGovernment FB pages