COMMUNAL farmers in the !Khob !Naub Conservancy of //Karas Region on Friday received compensation from government for the loss of their goats and sheep to jackals in 2012 and earlier this year.
The last distribution of compensation money took place at the Blouwes village on Friday, bringing the total number of farmers to 83.
Conservancy committee vice-chairperson Anna-Marie Kooper handed over the money to the farmers at the conservancy's Annual General Meeting (AGM) here. Kooper said more than 200 goats and sheep were killed by jackals since 2012, and farmers applied for compensation from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), which paid them N$30 600.
She noted that jackals are rampant and to reduce their numbers and avoid more loss of livestock, MET granted locals a quota to kill 20 jackals in July 2012.
"They are killing our animals, but we are glad we managed to reduce the number this year, though it is of little help," said Kooper.
When a goat is killed by a wild animal, the owner gets N$200 compensated from, while a sheep is worth N$250.
A cow fetches N$1 500 and a donkey N$500 in compensation.
The average market price for a cow is about N$5 000, while goats, sheep and donkeys start at N$1 000.
The Blouwes communal farmers, however, challenged the compensation figures given by government, saying they are not on par or even close to the actual market price of the animals. They suggest that government must pay at least N$400 for a goat and N$500 for a sheep. In response, MET's Acting Chief Warden for Southern Parks, Diaso Kaaronda, said his ministry is in the process of reviewing the compensation amounts. The AGM was aimed at electing new members of the conservancy committee, and to discuss issues affecting the conservancy. It was, however, postponed to 13 November, because most of the community members did not show up.
It was agreed that the conservancy committee must go back and consult the community on which issues to be discussed and solicit their views regarding the election of new committee members before the next meeting.
!Khob !Naub is located some 15 kilometres north of Keetmanshoop, and covers the villages of Blouputs, Blouwes, Itsawises, Swartkoppies and Bloemhof.