Herunga warns poachers

ETOSHA: People who poach wild animals must receive stiff life sentences in prison, the Minister of Environment and Tourism Uahekua Herunga says.

“We have the capacity to strengthen our laws if people continue to kill wild animals, so they must be warned,” he told Nampa on Thursday on the sidelines of the official handing over of Etosha National Park infrastructure built by the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA).

“We should not allow people to tarnish the image of this country and to sabotage the economy of this country,” said Herunga.

He explained that if people continue to kill animals they are preventing the government from building further schools, hospitals and also from providing drugs in hospitals.

“Therefore I want every Namibian to be a police officer or a soldier against poaching in this country,” the minister appealed.

More than 30 elephants were killed this year, and several rhinos were poached.

He noted that this is one the highest figures of killed animals the country has experienced over the past 24 years, and the ministry is very much concerned about this case.

Herunga said the number of poached rhinos has increased to 18 this year, including three rhinos killed this week in the Kunene Region. Before this week’s incident, a rhino was killed on 28 October this year in the Etosha National Park.

The minister also said that he is looking forward to the renaming of all Etosha gates currently named after colonial foreigners.

“I don’t understand what has some of these people done in terms of conservation for this country while we have people who we are aware of who contributed a lot in terms of conservation,” he stressed.