Human Elephant Conflict: Elephant Trenches Project at a grinding halt?

Human Elephant Conflict: Elephant Trenches Project at a grinding halt?

Human Elephant Conflict: Elephant Trenches Project at a grinding halt?

Written by Staff Writer

06 Jan, 2022 | 7:22 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): Sri Lankan authorities are yet to find a permanent solution to the Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) and wild elephant encroachments.

As a solution to minimize casualties and damages, authorities decided to excavate trenches around villages, and the project in Moragoda, Anuradhapura has come to a grinding halt.

Locals alleged that improper excavations have caused serious issues.

“This trench is flooded whenever it rains,” said one villager.

The project was to see the excavation of a massive trench that is 10 feet deep and 10 feet wide around the entire village, in a bid to prevent wild elephants from encroaching into the village.

Environmentalist Kumudu Jayawardena said when Minister S. M. Chandrasena was the Minister of Wildlife he promised to declare the area as a zoological garden.

“They spent over Rs. 100,000/- to put up a name board. Recently, it was removed. Then a promise was made to excavate the trenches in two weeks to solve the issue,” he alleged.

He also noted that there is no approval nor any estimate for the project and is one carried out by the political authority.

However, Minister S. M. Chandrasena says the project was approved by the budget and no political authority is connected to it.

He denied any knowledge over the project being used for separate purposes and said he would inquire as to whether the project has been suspended.

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