Community orgs fight over hunting rights ￼14 September 2022
Solomon Tjinyeka The Glhuin/han syndicate in northern Botswana is accusing land board authorities of favouritism after it awarded a hunting quota to Qangwa community Trust in the wildlife-rich NG3 concession in east of the Okavango Delta. Glhuin/han, a Basarwa Community organization said they were not consulted when Tawana Land Board awarded Qangwa Community Development Trust […]
The Glhuin/han syndicate in northern Botswana is accusing land board authorities of favouritism after it awarded a hunting quota to Qangwa community Trust in the wildlife-rich NG3 concession in east of the Okavango Delta.
Glhuin/han, a Basarwa Community organization said they were not consulted when Tawana Land Board awarded Qangwa Community Development Trust permission to operate eco-tourism projects in the wildlife-rich NG3 concession. Qangwa and Glhuin/han run eco-tourism projects.
The matter came to the fore after Qangwa Trust allegedly engaged a hunting company to shoot a bull elephant just close to Glhuin/han community borehole in mid-July this year.
The San community believes that the Trust does not have any rights to conduct hunting activities in their territory despite being issued a hunting quota to hunt in the concession.
They also stressed that NG 3 concession which is about 10 000 sq km has multiple lease holders and it is not legally possible for a single entity to have a lease hold rights over the whole area.
Glhuin/han Syndicate Community Leader, Dahm Xixae said the Qangwa Community Development Trust and hunting safari company have violated their rights as they entered their territory without consent. He did not elaborate on those rights.
Xixae said Glhuin/han Syndicate operates an eco-tourism campsite with the assistance of Kalahari Wildland Trust, a non-profit organization. He added that they have several activities such as bushwalk trails, offer bushman trails to tourists who are eager to learn about their unique and rich culture and their lifestyle.
“We were disappointed that Tawana Land Board went ahead and granted a waiver to Qangwa Trust after being awarded a hunting quota in 2021 and 2022,” Xixae said.
Glhuin/han complained that hunting in their area increases security risks for community safari guides in their community who monitor wild animals along the fence. He added that after the incident elephants have become aggressive and have become a threat to the community.
The Chairman of Tawana Land Board, Emmanuel Dube he has not received application of change of land use plan from Glhuin/han.
For his part, Director of Wildlife and National Parks, Dr Kabelo Senyatso said the Department of Wildlife and National Parks generates huntable quotas for each land parcel across the country, then those entities that have ‘user rights’ for the land parcels are offered opportunity to hunt the animals, as wildlife are part of the resources that they could access as part of the ‘user rights’
Senyatso said that Tawana Land Board offered the ‘user rights’ for NG3 to Qangwa Trust then the Department developed a quota for NG3.
“Qangwa Trust as an entity that has been given user rights to NG3 requested to use the wildlife quota as part of their user rights that Tawana Land Board has offered them for NG3,” said Senyatso. Qangwa Development Trust Chairman, Joseph Katjihandja refused to comment.