Human and Wildlife Conflict

The worsening climate has seen an increase in human and wildlife conflict in most of the districts that Habakkuk Trust operates. The most affected areas are Bubi and Bulilima. Human and wildlife conflict is one of the focus issues for Habakkuk Trust. The animals that usually come into conflict with humans are elephants, buffaloes and in some, rare cases hyenas and baboons.

Competition for natural resources and habitat between wildlife and humans is increasing because of climate change and new human settlements. Communities are calling for lasting solutions to the issue. Habakkuk Trust is has been assisting communities in Bulilima to address the issue. In most instances, the conflict results in loss of crops for the villagers and though most villagers a safe, a life was lost in 2018.  The other fears are the transmission of severe diseases such as Anthrax and other zoonotic diseases that can infect domestic animals.

Bulilima Ward 10 is prone to elephant and buffalo invasions due to its proximity to Botswana and Mabhongwane conservancy. Ward 10 is located in a wildlife corridor because there is a seasonal movement of elephants from the conservancy through human settlements. Elephant invasions result in the destruction of infrastructure and decimation of harvests.

Villagers in Bubi Ward 19 have been living in fear of elephants every farming season. The elephants destroy crops in fields and field perimeter fences meant to protect the crops.

Most of the settlements are set up on wildlife corridors and are prone to wildlife invasions. However, human and wildlife conflict has escalated because of climate change. Elnino induced dry-spells have resulted in the scarcity of water sources and shrinking of food reserves in wildlife habitats forcing wildlife species such as elephants and hyenas to invade nearby human settlements.

Limited resources to deal with wildlife coupled with climate change have resulted in an intense conflict between humans and wildlife. Habakkuk Trust is working with various communities in the affected areas by implementing a local governance project that seeks to enhance citizen participation in natural resource governance.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like these