Cabinet okays human-wildlife conflict fund

Human wildlife conflict

THE government is setting up a fund to compensate victims of human-wildlife conflict who continue to bear the brunt of wild animal attacks.

Acting Information minister Jenfan Muswere told journalists during post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday that Cabinet has approved the Parks and Wildlife Amendment Bill.

“The Bill will also provide for sustainable utilisation, sustainable development, the precautionary principle, community participation, access and benefit sharing and take into consideration regional and international instruments on wildlife.

“The Amendment Bill will repeal the Quelea (Control) Act (Chapter 19:10), and the Trapping of Animals Act (Control) (Chapter 20:21) and align the Act to the Constitution. The Bill will provide for the creation of a Human-Wildlife Conflict Relief Fund which will offer monetary relief to victims of human-wildlife conflict,” Muswere said.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has been struggling to compensate victims of wildlife attacks in the wake of increased human-wildlife conflicts.

Dozens of villagers and communal farmers continue to lose their lives, livestock, and crops to wild animals.

In 2021, 71 deaths and 50 injuries were recorded, compared to 60 deaths and 40 injuries in 2020.

In 2022, 68 people lost their lives to wildlife attacks.

The country recorded 15 deaths and 43 injuries during the first quarter of 2023. During the same period last year, there were 22 deaths and 18 injuries.

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