We here at etoshanationalpark.org have kept a close eye on the fight against poaching in our beloved national park and right across Namibia. So we’re happy to hear that 36 suspected poachers have been arrested since a police operation was launched a month or so ago.
This is according to Oshana police commander Commissioner Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa, who also said that the police had opened 40 cases of poaching.
This seemingly very positive development was published by The Namibian yesterday. The paper went on to say:
“He (Kashihakumwa) also said the 36 suspects arrested were linked to the 40 cases, adding that 22 of these 36 suspects have already appeared in the Okahao Magistrate’s Court. Their cases were postponed to allow for further police investigations.
“According to Kashihakumwa, 14 suspects were released because of lack of evidence, while three of the other suspects have agreed to become state witnesses.
“Kashihakumwa told the minister that serious crimes such as armed robberies, murder and attempted murder have significantly dropped in the region and police mostly deal with cases of theft, assault, domestic violence and house breaking.
“He said police in the region are getting cooperation from members of the public which made their work easier.
“Kashihakumwa, however, told the minister the force urgently needs infrastructure especially holding cells as well as accommodation for police officers.
“He added that despite those challenges, the discipline among the force is very high and that the women and men network group was working very well and is very important for successful police operations in the region.
“The commissioner said they had created a fund from donations received from businesspeople and individuals in the region as a token of appreciation and that fund now stands at N$231 000.”
Let’s hope that more positive steps are made in the coming weeks and months. Etosha and all of Namibia’s wildlife needs to be protected for future generations to enjoy.