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July 17, 2011

Elephants destroy crops in Tanzania

by Jacob Mugini

Thousands of  peasants living in six wards located near Tanzania's Serengeti National Park ((SENAPA) will not harvest what they had cultivated due to the on-going destruction caused by stray elephants on their crop farms.

The peasants have accused the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) for allegedly ignoring the destruction caused by elephants that were now crossing 15-20 kilometres from the park to destroy crops near residential areas.

''The situation is still tense, elephants are every where and we will need food aid,'' said the Sedeko ward councillor, Mr Richard Nyakera. He said at least 150 households residing Bisarara, Mbilikri and Bonguchu in Sedeko ward alone have started starving.

Maize, beans, cassava and millet are the major crops that have been ravaged by the jumbos in the district whose large part is made up of game protected areas including the world famous park.

The problem of invading jumbos has remained unsolved in the poor communities living near the country's national park. Game officers shot dead one of the stray elephants at Kitarungu village in Serengeti District recently after it endangered people's lives.

The Serengeti District Commissioner (DC), Mr Edward confirmed the destruction but said it has gone down compared to the previous years. ''It is not like other years because we're now getting co-operation from TANAPA rangers to chase the elephants back,'' the DC said.

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