Rampaging Ruaha jumbos raid village

12Jan 2022
The Guardian
Rampaging Ruaha jumbos raid village

​​​​​​​STRAY elephants from Ruaha National Park early this week invaded human settlements in Igawa ward, Mbarali District in Mbeya Region where they smashed houses and consumed food stocks, with ward residents issuing a strident appeal for government assistance.

Wildlife officials from a number of institutions gathered in the ward to figure out how to chase away the jumbos, from Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA) and TAWIRI, a research outfit.

Kalaika Karashi, a resident, said the elephants are a major nuisance as now there are hardly any crops in the fields. As if that was not enough, they invade houses break into stores and consume food stocks there.

“There are frequent elephant invasions here at the moment; they even come to our dwellings to eat food we had reserved. We are living in great fear, we appeal to the concerned authorities to help chase them away,” he narrated.

Henry Mkomole, another resident, said the reason for invading is expansion of the Ruaha National Park, where scores of settlements are now in the proximity of the park, endangering villagers’ lives.

He said that elephants are nefarious animals causing great harm to settlements nearby, urging the government to find a proper way of handling the problem.

Shariff Yassin, the park’s public relations officer, said they had earlier issued instructions to nearby residents on how to ward off jumbos without causing harm.

Dorine Ulomi, a senior TAWA official, said they will continue explaining to people on how to protect themselves when jumbos invade. Villagers should immediately report any destruction, he added.