ARUSHA, Tanzania, -- Villagers in Tanzania's northern districts of Monduli are living in constant fear of possible danger to their lives from a herd of wild elephants that strayed into their areas, local authorities said Sunday.
The herd raided five villages of Nalarami, Moita, Bwawani, Kilimasie, Mbuyuni and Naiti. Loserian Kimbele, Nalarami Ward Executive Officer, said:
"We have reported the matter to the responsible authorities so that they come up with alternative measures to address the vice." He said that the elephants' invasion caused fear and panic among villagers and destroyed 43 hectares of crops. The herd posed a serious threat to the civilian life in the area, as villagers depend on farming left in the lurch due to crop devastation. Iddi Kamata, Monduli District Commissioner confirmed the incident, saying that no causalities reported.
"We have tasked game rangers to chip-in the affected villagers and chase the elephants to the protected areas," he said. According to the District Commissioner, there are about 43 elephants which strayed from either Tarangire National Park or Lake Manyara National Park, the sanctuaries which are close to the district. He the elephants stormed into four villages of Moita, Bwawani, Kilimasie, Mbuyuni and Naiti.
The official said that the assessment carried out by wildlife officers in collaboration with the department of agriculture showed that more than 40 hectares of farms have been destroyed by jumbos in Naralami village.
"But, we're still assessing the impact of the stormed elephants in the area," he said. One of the villagers, Tellosa Saning'o said that the elephants stormed the village for the past one week and they have informed the responsible authorities on the matter but nothing has been done. "Most of our farms have been affected with the elephants.
Nothing has been left in the farms," the mother of six said on Sunday. She further said that some of the villagers have fled their homes fearing for their lives. "Some of our children have failed to go to school for safety reason," the villager said, noting that most of the human activities have stopped in the area. According to the law on compensation for destruction made by wildlife, Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism is responsible for compensating those people who have been affected by elephants' invasion.