Stray elephants destroy more than 10,500 hectares of farm crops in southern Tanzania

Photo taken on April 5, 2021 shows elephants in Omaruru, Namibia. TO GO WITH: "Free roaming elephants in Namibia exacerbate human-wildlife conflict: official" (Photo by Kaula Nhongo/Xinhua)
(Photo by Kaula Nhongo/Xinhua)

Elephants straying from the Nyerere National Park destroyed 10,724 hectares of farm crops in Tanzania’s southern highlands region of Ruvuma between July 2022 and June 2023, an official said Monday.

The Ruvuma Regional Commissioner Laban Thomas said the destruction of the farm crops has caused food insecurity, especially in villages in Namtumbo and Tunduru districts that are located adjacent to the national park.

Thomas made the remarks when he spoke during the introduction of a strategic project by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism aimed at ending wildlife-human conflicts in the Ruvuma and Lindi regions.

“The marauding elephants endanger the lives of the villagers, and cause food insecurity,” said Thomas.

Antonia Raphael, a senior official from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, said the introduction of the project was part of efforts by the government to control wildlife-human conflicts across the country.

The Nyerere National Park, covering an area of more than 30,000 square kilometers, is one of the largest national parks in the world, boasting the largest concentration of wild animals, including elephants, buffaloes and lions.

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