Cabinet Paper submitted for more relief for victims - MP Navarathna | Daily News
Human-Elephant Conflict

Cabinet Paper submitted for more relief for victims - MP Navarathna

A herd of wild jumbos caused much havoc in Nikawehera and Gomadiyagala villages in the Polpithigama D.S. division destroying cultivations and houses at night on July 20.
A herd of wild jumbos caused much havoc in Nikawehera and Gomadiyagala villages in the Polpithigama D.S. division destroying cultivations and houses at night on July 20.

Ehetuwewa Coordinating Committee Chairman, Parliamentarian Asanka Navarathna said that he submitted a Cabinet paper requesting to increase the compensation amount which is Rs.500,000, paid for a loss of human life as a result of the human-elephant conflict up to Rs. two million.

He expressed these views at a meeting held at Pothanegama, Ehetuwewa in Kurunegala to distribute coconut saplings to farmers under the “Dorin Dorata Kapruka’ programme.

MP Navarathna said that he is well aware of the problems faced by farmers. “They have to struggle with wild elephants to protect their cultivations. Coconut cultivations are destroyed by wild elephants. There should be a permanent solution to this problem that has been dragging on for a long time,” he said.

He said that the only solution to this problem is the proper maintenance of the existing electric fence. “We hope to deploy more people for this purpose. It has been planned to recruit five officers for the maintenance of each kilometre of the fence. A large sum of money has been allocated by the Prime Minister under the last Budget to minimise the human-elephant conflict.” The MP said.

He said that the whole area will be protected by the Wildlife Ministry with the cooperation of the Pradeshiya Sabha and the Multi-Duty Development Department. According to the statistics available at the Galgamuwa Wildlife Office, 37 houses were damaged by wild elephants in the area during the last six months.

There are three D.S. divisions, namely, Galgamuwa, Ehetuwewa and Ambanpola, in the Galgamuwa Wildlife Zone. During this period, three persons were killed by wild elephants and three elephants too lost their lives. The number of seriously injured persons is five. Nearly 133 houses were damaged by wild elephants during 2020. Villagers say that the compensation paid for damage caused to the properties by wild elephants is not at all sufficient. That is why most of the villagers do not report about the damage caused to the responsible authorities,” S.M. Punchi Banda, President of the Galgamuwa Farmer Organization told the Daily News.

 


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