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Kakum Forest elephants devastate farmlands at Assin South

Several farming communities in the Assin South District of the Central Region have experienced raids by rabid elephants from the Kakum National Park Forest expansion, which have destroyed more than three acres of crops valued at GH60,000.

The farmers in the Assin-Abodweseso, Ongwa, Aboabo-Camp, and Homaho communities were devastated since their main sources of income—maize, yam, cocoyam, cassava, plantains, and cocoa—were impacted.

The National Disaster Management Organization’s (NDMO) District Director, Mr. Emmanuel Kwabena Brewu, acknowledged the invasion to the Ghana News Agency and assured them of NADMO’s cooperation.

He claimed that in 2018, the roving elephants devastated fields in 12 different communities in the district, including Homaho, Kwafokrom, Domeabra, Kojo-Akuapem, Harunakrom, Seriboukrom, and Aboabo-Camp.

According to Mr. Brewu, the elephants frequently left their natural habitat in the forest in search of new food, and they consumed anything edible, especially during the rainy season.

“The district has experienced the elephant invasion every year. When the farmers are prepared to harvest them, they frequently migrate from their habitats in the nearby forest reserve to destroy them, he said.

He urged the farmers to strictly follow the regulations set forth by the Ghana Wildlife Service and other relevant agencies to safeguard elephants and prevent elephant perineal attacks.

Mr. Brewu made an urgent plea to charitable organizations to provide farmers with food and other necessities of life.

Affected farmer Mr. Daniel Mensah enlisted the NADMO’s support right away and urged the relevant authorities to take urgent action because it had impacted their ability to feed themselves.

He claimed that the circumstance constituted a major threat to human life, food security, and farming, particularly in the forested boundary settlements.

He claimed that every attempt to persuade the Game and Wildlife Service, who managed the forest reserve, to put in place safeguards to keep the animals out of the region had failed.

Other concerned farmers urged the government and the Game and Wildlife Service to take action right away or they would have to shoot the animals to protect their fields and the local food supply from rising threats.

We won’t stand by while the elephants damage our crops, which are almost ready for harvest. When our crops are what we depend on to support our families, pay for school, and pay other expenditures, it is distressing to see them destroyed in such a careless way, they stated.

Growing crops like maize, plantains, and cassava alongside cocoa was not a simple effort, but all of them were destroyed by the elephants, according to Madam Comfort Dadzie, whose maize field was destroyed.

“On occasion, we must put our lives in danger by fighting the elephants with sticks. We try to scare the animals by beating drums, blowing whistles, and noisily knocking objects, but it doesn’t work,” she said.

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