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Thirsty lions, buffaloes invade villages

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Residents of Manxotae and surrounding villages are living in fear following a sudden invasion by lions in pursuit of weak and thirsty buffaloes which have infested the surrounding villages in search of water.

When The Midweek Sun arrived in the concerned villages, herds of buffaloes and elephants were seen, in their hundreds roaming around homesteads competing with human beings for the scarce water from the wells dug in the river bed. Regional Wildlife Officer for the Central District, Onalenna Kgathi, revealed to The Midweek Sun that the sudden influx of lions in the concerned villages is due to trailing the dehydrated and weak buffaloes as well as looking for water.

“When herds of buffaloes and elephants are on their migration routes, lions trail them to feed on the weak ones hence the current situation experienced by the villages in the Nata area,” she said. A farmer whose six cattle were recently eaten by lions near the almost dry village dam, Mopedi Ntuane was lost for words as he said that the lions which have invaded their cattle posts and share a water drinking hole with their cattle have been killing and eating his cattle.

“So far I have only managed to find the carcasses of only three of my animals as the rest of them were completely devoured by the lions. Just last week, my herd boys found lions eating one of my animals and the wildlife officers were called to chase away the lions. Unfortunately, one cannot claim compensation for the killing of one’s animal by lions from the Wildlife Department without any proof which includes the remains of the carcass. I will be compensated for the three animals whose carcasses I located,” he said.

Another farmer Tshireletso Ngaka who lost four beasts and one horse finds it hard to accept the loss especially because, he said, it was not the first time he had lost his livestock to predators. “Over the years, I have lost count of the number of my livestock eaten by lions but this year things are bound to become worse because, due to the drought and shortage of water, our cattle share the same drinking holes with lions thereby making it easy for livestock to be eaten at the drinking hole,” he said Ngaka.

He accused  the Wildlife Department of taking a very long time to compensate them, he also complained that their cash compensation is not enough since it has got nothing to do with the value of the animal eaten. Ngaka informed this publication that a horse on the market is sold for cash in the region of P7 000-00 whereas the government gives them P3, 500 for the loss of a horse to the predators. Ntuane attributed the invasion of villages by wild animals to water shortage in the region.

He said they had always anticipated it since there are no dams or boreholes out in the bush far away from villages which can be used by thirsty wild animals.“Farmers around the area have long advised the Wildlife Department to keep away wild animals from villages by constructing many dams in the bush where animals live far away from people but to no avail. Once these animals get thirsty, it is logical for them to look for water all over the place hence they end up tracing it to the nearby villages,” he said.

Another victim, Dona Amos could neither hide her disappointment at the current turn of events. “These lions will leave us empty handed as they are all over the place. Our cattle are not used to them and as such, they eat as they like since we are not allowed by the law to touch them. If we were given the permission, we could have shot some to scare them far away from human settlement, but we cannot do that as we will be locked up. Animals seem to be more important to the government than its citizens,” she said.

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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