Gabon: Elephant killing, Woleu-Ntem’s solution to the human-wildlife conflict

Andy Marvine Nze,

Gabon Gabonmediatime Forêt Gabonaise Tourisme Gabon

While the human-wildlife conflict is in full swing, the populations do not seem convinced by the solutions proposed by the government. Thus, gathered by the Minister Delegate of Water and Forests, on tour in Woleu-Ntem, the inhabitants of the five departments of the north were keen to give their opinions on the situation which does not seem to have an end.

During the meeting, the victims recommended that the government take strong and courageous decisions to resolve the conflict between them and the pachyderms. “With us in Medouneu, the elephant drinks water from the barrels behind the house. This means that our lives are threatened on a daily basis” declared the representative of the “United Hearts” association of the grouping of villages, Mbam-Assegma, quoted by the daily L’Union.

In the process, the latter did not fail to outline some possible solutions. “We must systematically kill the elephants that are straying. This is the only option,” he said, ruling out de facto the option of electric barriers proposed by the Ministry of Water and Forests and which does not seem to meet with the consent of the populations of the affected provinces.

As a reminder, the Ministry of Water and Forests recorded 8,374 complaints in 2015, reporting the destruction of plantations and bodily attacks caused by elephants, attacks that caused eight deaths between 2020 and 2021. To remedy the situation, the government has taken the decision to build electric fences, to compensate the victims.

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