Kashihakumwa appointed to head anti-poaching unit
WINDHOEK, 09 AUG (NAMPA) – Retired Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Commissioner, Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa has been appointed as the head of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s anti-poaching unit (APU).
His appointment, effective 01 August 2017, was announced in Windhoek on Wednesday by Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta.
“The unit will be responsible for protecting wildlife, mainly rhinos and elephants from poaching, promote enforcement of wildlife laws within the country and with neighbouring states, enhance the effective prevention of wildlife crime and of national wildlife protection legislation in Namibia, among others,” Shifeta noted.
The minister added that the APU, also known as the Division of Wildlife Protection Services, carries out active patrols, surveillance, investigations, on-the-job training and retraining, as well as adaptive management.
Shifeta expressed his satisfaction with the country’s now healthy and viable population of black rhinos, which were near extinct in the 1960s.
“White rhinos that were extinct in Namibia were re-introduced and their numbers are also increasing steadily, both in national parks and freehold land.”
He added that Namibia’s elephant population has increased from about 7 500 in 1995 to over 22 000 to date.
Even though the number of poaching cases has decreased over the past three years, Namibia’s successes in improving its wildlife population are being threatened by the current poaching trends, the minister added.
Statistics indicate that 17 elephants and 24 rhinos have been killed by poachers so far this year.
The anti-poaching unit has 495 staff members.
It will work closely with a number of stakeholders including the Namibian Police Force, Namibian Defence Force and Intelligence Service, among others.
Kashihakumwa is a former commander of the NamPol in the Oshana Region. He retired from the force in August 2015.
Before NamPol, he served as a lieutenant in the NDF and an investigating officer at the Ministry of Works and Transport.