Crocs terrorise Gwembe residents

Swimmer snatched by killer crocodile

THE residents of Gwembe District in Southern Province are living in fear following the increasing incidences of human-animal conflict which have led to two deaths this month.
Vicious animals such as hippopotamus and crocodiles are causing havoc in the area where maize fields are being destroyed.
So far, over two people have been killed by crocodiles this month.
District Commissioner (DC) Alice Mwiinga said the animals had become uncontrollable and were regularly heading into villages destroying crops and attacking the locals.
In an interview yesterday, Ms Mwiinga said the people of Gwembe were now living in fear because the animals were starying into their homes during day and night times.
“We have a big problem of animal-human conflict here. The incidences have reached alarming levels, people are living in fear, they are attacked on daily basis, the animals are getting too close and causing destruction,” she said.
The human-animal conflict is the interaction between wild animals and people and the resultant negative impact on people or their resources.
Ms Mwiinga said the district had witnessed an increased population of crocodiles which were terrorising people.
She said school going children had difficulties to walk to their schools because of fear of being attacked by crocodiles and hippos.
Ms Mwiinga said the damage to the crops was the most prevalent form of human-animal conflict as evidenced by many hectares of maize fields which had so far been destroyed.
She said the current hunger situation in Gwembe had also been triggered by the same conflict.
Ms Mwiinga, however, commended Government over its intention to distribute over 160 metric tonnes of relief maize to hunger stricken households in the district.
She appealed to the Government and the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) to help find a permanent solution to deal with the rising population of crocodiles in the district.