Namibia

  1. Namibia signs deal to relocate cheetahs to India

    BBC World Service

    Two captive cheetahs sit on a mound in an enclosure at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, on February 18, 2016.
    Image caption: A total of 50 cheetahs will be translocated over the next five years

    India and Namibia have signed a deal that will see cheetahs from the southern African country relocated to India.

    The first batch of eight big cats, the world's fastest land animal, is to arrive next month.

    They will be settled in a national park in Madhya Pradesh state, which has abundant prey and captive breeding will be introduced.

    Reports say 50 cheetahs, some of them from South Africa, will be moved over the next five years.

    India's former population of Asiatic cheetahs was declared extinct within the country 70 years ago.

    Delhi says the translocation is being conducted within the guidelines of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

  2. Surge in Covid vaccination after Namibia army advert

    Namibia's soldiers marching
    Image caption: The army has defended its vaccine requirement

    At least 5,000 people have been newly vaccinated in Namibia in the last two weeks since the country's military announced that new recruits should have evidence of taking Covid-19 jabs, news site Namibian reports quoting health officials.

    The Ministry of Defence announced that it was looking for 1,500 new members.

    The authorities hope that the uptake would convince others who have been hesitant to come forward. Only 17% of the country's 2.5 million population has been vaccinated.

    Those applying for the army jobs have to take the Johnson and Johnson jab, the only vaccine that it available in Namibia, the news site The Namibian reports.

    The army has defended the vaccine requirement saying that the training takes place in crowded environments making it easier for transmission.

    “We had members of the NDF who succumbed to Covid-19 already, and many others were severely sick with Covid-19, including myself," the army's Public Relations Officer Colonel, Petrus Shilumbu said.

    “We just want to keep everybody healthy, because the moment we have everybody vaccinated, then we are all well protected," he added.

  3. Poachers kill 11 rhinos in two weeks at Namibian park

    A black rhino in Etosha park in Namibia
    Image caption: A total of 22 rhinos have been killed by poachers since the beginning of the year

    Namibia's environment and tourism ministry says it has discovered the carcasses of 11 rhinos killed by suspected poachers in a park since the beginning of the month.

    It said investigations indicated that the carcasses of the black rhinos in the northern Etosha National Park were “between three weeks and old”.

    “This is regrettable and a strong indication that the fight against poaching is not over,” a statement by the ministry spokesman Romeo Muyunda said.

    No arrests have been made so far as investigations continue.

    The ministry has urged Namibians with any information to report it to the police or to the ministry.

    A total of 22 rhinos have been killed by poachers since the beginning of the year, according to the ministry.

  4. Namibia politician held over China Town shops chaos

    Namibian police have arrested an official of an opposition party for allegedly inciting violence and looting of stores owned by foreigners in China Town area of the capital, Windhoek.

    Michael Amushelelo, the commissar of economic development for the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (Neff) party, faces multiple charges including incitement to public violence.

    Some protests were reported on Friday following his arrest.

    The Namibian police chief on Thursday ordered his arrest for allegedly “terrorising” the business community and promoting “hooliganism”.

    A video shared by The Namibian newspaper showed him ordering some Chinese traders in a shopping centre to close down their premises.

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    The move reportedly paralysed all business operations at the shopping complex.

    In the video, he claims - without evidence - that the stores were selling “fake things”.

    The Neff party has close links with the South African Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party founded by firebrand youth opposition leader Julius Malema.

  5. 'Missing' tourists in Namibia's Fish canyon found

    Views of the Fish River Canyon in Namibia
    Image caption: The Fish River Canyon is Africa’s longest canyon and the second largest in the world

    Tourists who were reported as having disappeared in Namibia’s Fish River Canyon have been accounted for, local authorities have said.

    A search was launched for the hikers over the weekend amid uncertainty over their actual numbers.

    They included a South African couple who were said to have sent out multiple distress signals, prompting the rescue mission.

    But on Monday, a Namibian government tourism official told local newspaper The Namibian that the whereabouts of the couple and others who had been reported missing was now known and that nobody was missing.

    An official of the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) told the Informanté publication that six of the tourists exited the park without “clocking out”.

    The official urged all tourists and hikers at the canyon to register before continuing to their respective destinations.

    The canyon, which is situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River in southern Namibia, is one of Africa’s most impressive natural wonders.

    It’s Africa’s longest canyon and the second largest in the world, after the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

    The intense 85km (52 miles) hiking trail on the floor of the canyon is only accessible from May to mid-September because of the soaring desert temperatures.

  6. Namib: Skeleton Coast and Beyond

    Video content

    Video caption: The Namib Desert is one of the oldest deserts in the world.

    The Namib Desert is one of the oldest deserts in the world, having given rise to more indigenous species than any other.

  7. Video content

    Video caption: World Press Freedom Day: Where do African countries rank?

    The United Nations General Assembly declared 3 May is World Press Freedom Day, but what does that mean?

  8. Namibia removes mandatory mask-wearing mandate

    A man wears a mask in Namibia
    Image caption: Coronavirus cases in Namibia have reduced

    Namibia's President Hage Geingob has announced that the wearing of face masks will no longer be mandatory in public places.

    Mr Geingob also said vaccinated foreign visitors would not require PCR testing on arrival into the country.

    The removal of Covid-19 restrictions comes amid a reduction in new virus cases being reported.

    The president increased the number of people allowed to attend events from 500 to 1,000.

    He said that people using public transport and those attending indoor events would be encouraged to wear masks.

    The new measures will be in place for a month.

    The active coronavirus cases in the country stand at 222, with the country averaging 14 new cases per day in the last seven days.

  9. Video content

    Video caption: Namibian LGBTQ+ model Gracia Kibangu: ‘I had to live my truth’

    Namibian Gracia Kibangu says she came out as queer during a beauty contest to live her truth.

  10. Namibians studying in Ukraine to enrol back home

    Namibian students who have arrived home from Ukraine following Russia's invasion will have an option to enrol in local universities, the education ministry has said.

    A ministry official termed it a second chance to the students, although there was no clarity on how grades will be transferred.

    The announcement came as some 23 students arrived home on Sunday.

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    It is unclear if the evacuation was done on a return ticket to allow the students to return to Ukraine after the war.

    African students who were studying in Ukraine had said that they were uncertain about the fate of their education.

    Some countries like Ghana have agreed with Hungary that some Ghanaian students who had fled Ukraine can complete their studies in Hungarian universities.

    They will provide space and resources and the students will pay the same fees as in Ukraine.

  11. Namibian river reaches ocean for first time in 11 years

    Landscape of Desert Dunes and blue Sky At Desert Breeze on the Banks of the Swakop River in Namibia
    Image caption: The river rarely reaches the ocean after passing through the Namib Desert

    Swakop River in Namibia has spilled into the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in 11 years, following heavy rains.

    Armed with smartphones and cameras, people gathered at the mouth of the river on Wednesday to witness the rare occurrence:

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    The Swakop River dries up in the Namib Desert except in extreme rainy seasons when it flows into the ocean. It last flowed into the Atlantic in April 2011.

  12. Namibian medic awarded for her passion for patients

    Dr Esperance Luvindao

    A Namibian doctor has been awarded for offering free online consultation to people during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Dr Esperance Luvindao won the Commonwealth Points of Light award for offering 44,000 sessions.

    "I am beyond thrilled and we are honoured to accept the award! Like I always say, we do not do the work in order to be awarded but to be awarded for doing the work we love is a different kind of blessing," she said.

    Dr Luvindao is a senior medical doctor from Windhoek.

    She has done community service and has been outspoken on local media about patient care.

    Dr Luvindao worked in northern Namibia where her passion to reach out to marginalised communities started.

    She discovered patients were travelling 50km (31 miles) with a poor transport network to access medical centres.

    Dr Luvindao also started the "1 Step at A Time" initiative that helped purchase medical equipment for village health practices, reaching thousands of patients in remote areas.

  13. Namibia issues stray hippo warning after heavy rains

    A hippopotamus near the Zambezi River
    Image caption: Hippos may be vegetarian but can get aggressive if they feel threatened

    Namibians living in the country's north-eastern Zambezi region have been warned that stray hippos may have wandered into residential areas.

    This is because with heavy rains, rivers are flooding into their usual feeding areas along the banks.

    Hippos are vegetarians, but can get aggressive if they feel threatened. They can generally run a little faster than humans on land - and their vast weight and teeth can prove deadly.

    Last week, a security guard near the Zambezi region's capital, Katima Mulilo, was killed by a hippo, the state broadcaster NBC quoted the police as saying.

    Wildlife authorities have urged residents to be on the lookout and report any sightings of wild animal tracks, but urged them not to follow them.

    Over the last fortnight, stray hippos have been spotted in maize fields and ponds near residential areas in Zambezi region.

    The authorities believe the hippos are coming from the Zambezi River.