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Marauding elephants destroy crop which survived dry season

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


Bulilima: A HERD of elephants has invaded Jutshume village in Bulilima, Matabeleland South where they have destroyed the little crop which survived the prolonged draught spell experienced by the country recently.

Most parts of the country received below to normal rainfall, a development which resulted in permanent wilting of crops.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, Habakkuk Trust Community Advocacy Action Team convener for the area, Linos Khumalo said the herd suspected to be numbering five, has so far invaded six fields and destroyed crops and fences.

“Very few people who planted earlier had a better harvest, but the challenge now is the elephants which are destroying the crops.

“Destruction of the crops coupled with the closure of borders to curb COVID-19 will certainly plunge communities into an early hunger crisis as a significant population relies on diaspora grocery remittances to augment food reserves,” said Khumalo who is also a village head in the area.

He said the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and Bulilima Rural District Council officials have already been alerted about the marauding elephants.

Last year, one person was killed by elephants while three others were seriously injured by the jumbos.

Habakkuk Trust is currently assisting the community in coming up with ways of enhancing a timely response from the relevant authorities.

The organisation is also working with the community on enhancing local level mechanisms to community participation and involvement in natural resource governance.

Parliament of Zimbabwe recently proposed birth control to curb the rising population of the elephants which are complicating cases of human-wildlife conflict.

The seasonal migration of the giant mammals is common during this time of the year, often resulting in loss of livelihoods and destruction of infrastructure.

ZimParks spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo could not be reached for comment as his number was not getting through.