’Dracula to Head the Blood Bank’

WE HAVE no doubt that Cabinet, the ministry of environment and that of defence have the best intentions with their plans to dispatch soldiers around the country to stop the tide of poaching that might threaten our beautiful and diverse wildlife population.

Poaching has been on the increase and has already developed into a crisis. So it is understandable that government put the clicheacute into action that a desperate situation calls for desperate measures.

But simply sending soldiers into national wildlife parks and conservancies with their weapons could spell disaster.

The damage can come in many forms, some of them mere accidents and others well-orchestrated. Soldiers constantly complain about being poorly paid and forced to live in bad conditions in their barracks. How much more tempting it would be if they have easy access to wildlife? Conservation requires special skills, experience and, above all, a heart for that. Soldiers anywhere in the world, in peaceful times and war, don’t have a good record around wildlife. They are simply not trained for that sort of love.

Not only might it be similar to having Dracula head up a blood bank, but the chances are good that the soldiers will become embroiled in conflict with civilians in the different communities. Unless, of course, the idea is to retrain the soldier to become a wildlife warden and thus also reduce the swelling numbers of an idle defence force.

Source : The Namibian