Steps afoot to end human–jumbo conflict in A’pura | Daily News


Steps afoot to end human–jumbo conflict in A’pura

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the wildlife conservation authorities to take immediate action to resolve the human–elephant conflict which is on the rise in Palagala, Habarana, Nochchiyagama, Nachchaduwa, Thalawa, Moragoda, Ulukkulama, Horowpothana and Palugaswewa divisions, Anuradhapura District Wildlife Conservation Assistant Director Weragama said.

Several farmer organisations in the Anuradhapura District have complained to the President, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Environment, Wildlife, Land and Land Development Minister S.M. Chandrasena that a majority of the protective electric fences in operation is malfunctioning, and some of these fences block traditional wild elephant corridors in the district.

According to Weragama, an emergency repairing programme to energise dilapidated electric fences and remove the protective fences which block the traditional elephant corridors has been launched. Accordingly, a 650-kilometre-long new protective electric fence will be constructed across Habarana, Kebithigollewa, Horowpothana, Wahalkada, Morogoda and Kalawewa areas in addition to the streamlining of the existing 800-kilometre-long electric fencing.

Nearly Rs. 400 million would be spent by the Wildlife Conservation Department for the new protective fencing project. The Anuradhapura District Wildlife Conservation Assistant Director said the tender calling procedure was in progress in order to commence the project.

He revealed that the pilot project for the construction of a live fence along the 133-kilometre- long Wilpattu electric fence has been entrusted to the Civil Security Department and under the guidance and the supervision of the Wildlife Conservation Department, planting of three rows of lime plants parallel to the reinforced electric fence commenced last week. Nearly 350,000 lime plants are to be planted along the main fence since elephants do not like citrus of any kind. 

He said depending on the success of the pilot project, the live fencing programme would be expanded to other major electric fence systems as well.

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