- Certain measures were taken to apprise officials on how to control the HEC
By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
There is a slight decline of incidents in the Human-Elephant Conflicts (HEC) this year (2020) when compared to the previous year (2019), a senior official of the Wildlife Conservation Department said.
He told Daily Mirror that people being confined to their homes due to lockdown regulations following the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, had caused a decline of the HEC.
According to the reports of the department, 59 people were killed by August this year while 85 people were killed in the corresponding period last year (2019). During the HEC, a total of 189 elephants were killed by August this year while 263 elephants were killed last year.
Apart from the lockdown regulations, certain measures were taken to apprise Grama Niladharis of the 134 Divisional Secretariat Divisions, State institutions and several village organisations on how to control the HEC.
“The areas between the roads and jungles have been cleared for about 50 to 100 metres to get a clear view of elephants approaching the roads. Measures were taken to put street lamps in dark stretches of roads with the support of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). People were advised not to walk alone on roads at night. Responsible authorities were advised to compulsorily operate the ‘last bus services’ for people to get back to their homes. Also, people were advised to limit their ‘going outs’ from 4.00 p.m to 7.00 a.m,” he said.
There is an elephant population of about 6,000 existing in the country, the official said.
Moreover, the President has earlier advised the relevant authorities to find a permanent solution to eliminate the HEC within two years.
- People were advised not to walk alone on roads at night. Responsible authorities were advised to compulsorily operate the ‘last bus services