“Solar-powered fence to reduce conflict between humans and elephants”
A solar-powered fence will be erected to protect villages in Anuradhapura district from wild elephants, said Minister of State for Solar, Wind and Hydroelectric Project Development Duminda Dissanayake.
The state minister said solar power will operate the fence continuously, covering 490 km of the district.
A large number of farming families in Palugaswewa, Nachchaduwa, Ipalogama, Nochchiyagama, Kebithigollewa, Galenbindunuwewa, Horowpothana and Medawachchiya DS divisions are facing attacks from wild elephants. They destroy the crops and properties of farmers and kill them most often. They enter villages from reservation areas in search of food as many electric fences are not properly maintained. A 1,000 km fence is needed to minimize the human-elephant conflict, ” the state minister said.
The state minister said solar power will also be applied to crumbling electric fences.
Army personnel will erect the fences with iron pillars and iron nets. District wildlife authorities have been instructed not to erect fences obstructing elephant corridors and also to ensure adequate water sources in elephant reserves. Minister of State Dissanayake said 52 elephants and 21 people died as a result of the human-elephant conflict in August this year.