13 October 2011

Rwanda: Elephants Destroy Crops in Rubavu

Rubavu — Residents of Bugeshi Sector in Rubavu District have seen their prospective harvests slashed by almost Rwf2 million after stray elephants from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo destroyed their crops.

The elephants often cross into the district from the DRC's Virunga national park, where they are not properly watched over.

This month alone, more than 10 jumbos have invaded the area on three occasions, spreading fear among area residents.

Last year, a herd of elephants crossed over and destroyed crops and also killed several domestic animals.

"We have spoken to the DRC authorities about this problem but nothing has been done yet," lamented Eric Kabera, the Executive Secretary of the sector.

"We have talked to Rwanda Development Board who promised to facilitate the digging deep and wide trenches along the points where the elephants cross as a deterrent," Kabera added.

Authorities in the DRC, meanwhile, promised to provide torches to Bugeshi residents to flash at the jumbos as a short term preventive measure since they usually strike at night.

The victims are unlikely to receive any compensation since there is no provision for that under the law.

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