Community trusts in the Okavango delta are present the government to provide financial assistance to them following the unpopular ban on trophy hunting which came into effect in January. The trusts all were paid in cash and kind by hunting safari companies for the privilege of operating in concession areas. In one case, P10-million was paid annually by a major safari organization. Other companies paid similar amounts. In addition, the safari companies gave villagers meat from animals that had been shot. This has now dried up and many villagers are destitute as a result. Villagers are not able to find work as most were employed by the companies as trackers, kitchen staff, waiters and waitresses, and tent staff.
In Maun, office staff have been made redundant after the owners closed up shop and moved their activities to countries such as Tanzania and Mozambique, where business is booming as a result of the companies switching their clients from Botswana.
The seriousness of the situation has been brought to the attention of the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, and, according to media reports in Gaborone, Mababe Zokotshama Community Trust’s general manager, Onkeme Mmolainyana, says they are still expecting a response from Khama about their request.
Read more about this story in the latest Ngami Times http://www.ngamitimes.com/2014/02/hunting-ban-hurting-community-trusts/