By John Muyamba
Ndiyona — Marauding wild animals are devouring crops that were about to be harvested by villagers in Kavango West particularly in Ndiyona, Ndonga Linena and Mukwe constituencies, dealing a heavy blow to villagers' food supply.
Hildegard Mangundu the councillor for Ndiyona constituency said she was disturbed by reports that wild animals were destroying entire crop fields. She urged the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to intervene as villagers "will have nothing to eat".
"We are not sleeping, I receive calls even in the midnight hours from people telling me that elephants are in their fields, even hippos. This is an ongoing threat to the hard work of people, who have made great efforts with the good rains to plough and sow their fields in order to alleviate hunger," lamented the councillor.
Mangundu said the community has appealed to her to lodge a complaint with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism for the ministry to take action. "The nature conservation staff must respond fast and attend to that emergency," she said.
Mangundu noted that sufficient rains fell during the rainy season and villagers took advantage of the rains but their efforts could be in vain because of the destruction of their crops by wild animals.
In Mukwe constituency, where the most recent elephant attack was reported, the councillor for the constituency Kalyangu Muliki also said wild animals were ripping up the crops.
"People are afraid to go into their fields because they have spotted wild animals in the fields - elephants and buffalos - and it's the same at the river. Crocodiles scare the community from fetching water or bathing and washing in the river. There are a lot of crocodiles, especially at Mbapuka, 50km west of Divundu and at Ndongo, two kilometres east of Divundu where a crocodile recently caught a cow," he said.
The councillors for Mukwe and Ndiyona constituencies have thus urged people to be extra cautious when making use of the river and when attending to their crop fields.