Tsholotsho villagers live in fear of hippos roaming the area


VILLAGERS in Tsholotsho South, ward 16 in Tshamakiwa are experiencing human-wildlife conflicts, where hippopotamuses are roaming around human settlements destroying crops.

This has been happening for the past three months, which has resulted in villagers fearing for their lives.

The affected villagers told Southern Eye that despite reporting to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks), they were yet to get assistance.

Tshamakiwa community leader Cleopas Ndlovu appealed to ZimParks to control the animals as they are threatening the lives of villagers and destroying crops.

“These hippos are roaming around at night in people’s homes and in fields devouring crops. They have settled themselves at Tshamakiwa Dam for the past three months. Reports have been made to ZimParks but nothing has been done about it,” Ndlovu said.

“The situation is getting out of hand. We are really scared and fear for our lives as we know how dangerous these animals can be when provoked.”

Ndlovu said the hippos were terrorising villages 3, 4, 5 and 6 in Tshamakiwa.

He said their livelihoods were being threatened since most of them depended on farming, adding that continued destruction of their crops will end in starvation.

“I appeal to the national parks to assist us before something bad happens,” he said.

ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo said the matter would be attended to.

“We have heard of such reports, and our officers are on the ground.  We are yet to get formal communication on the issue,” he said.

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