Boreholes for Zambezi wildlife
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism will drill two boreholes to pump water into ponds in the Bamunu Conservancy, situated in the Zambezi Region, to mitigate the effects of the drought that have greatly affected wildlife.
The move by the ministry follows recent reports that, about one hundred hippos are trapped and stranded in a muddy pool of a channel of the Linyanti River. This recalls the ghastly scenes of 1984 when almost 150 hippos got stranded and died when Lake Liambezi dried up.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon Pohamba Shifeta last week said that, through their recent assessment, they established that the two pools still have water to sustain hippos and crocodiles.
However, he said, the situation requires the ministry to act fast to ensure that water remains in these last pools in the river channel to keep the animals alive until the next rain season.
According to the minister, the current drought has reduced the water levels in Kwando, Linyanti, Chobe complex in certain areas to just a few pools. Competition for water then becomes fierce and it has a major impact on the larger types of game, especially those that are aquatic.
“Five hippos have died in these ponds but this was not directly as a result of a lack of water or grazing. As a matter of fact those that died were as a result of fighting particularly among the bulls,” he said.
“Hippos are extremely territorial animals and as the ponds become smaller, they will fight for territory,” Shifeta added.
As a measure to reduce this, the minister said they will have to take off three to five bulls through own use by the conservancy to reduce the fighting between the bulls.
Furthermore, he said his ministry will maintain regular and frequent monitoring of these animals and the general situation in the area, in collaboration with the management of the conservancy and hunting operators who hold hunting concessions in the Zambezi region. The Bamunu Conservancy is rich in wildlife and an important part of the Namibian component of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.