Meghalaya: British Asian Trust official inaugurates solar fence to mitigate human-elephant conflict
Belinda Stuwart Cox from the British Asian Trust, UK, officially opened the fence, symbolising a significant step in mitigating human-elephant conflict.
In an effort to foster coexistence between villagers and wild elephants, a 1.2-kilometer-long solar-powered fence was inaugurated in Borogopal Part 3 village, West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya. Belinda Stuwart Cox from the British Asian Trust, UK, officially opened the fence, symbolising a significant step in mitigating human-elephant conflict.
The inauguration ceremony, attended by representatives from the Forest Department of Meghalaya, Auro Saswat of British Asian Trust from Pondicherry, Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar of Aaranyak, wildlife biologist Alolika Sinha, and local community members, marked a collaborative effort to address the challenges posed by wild elephants in the region. Organised by biodiversity conservation organisation Aaranyak, the event brought together around 70 villagers, including women from Borogopal, reflecting the community's anticipation for increased safety and security against roaming elephant herds.
Installed by Aaranyak and the British Asian Trust with support from the Darwin Initiative (UK Aid), the solar-powered fence aims to restrict the movement of wild elephants, preventing potential conflicts with local communities. During the inauguration, an MoU was signed among the fencing committee, villagers, and Aaranyak, formalising the handover of the fence to the local community.
Belinda Stuwart Cox emphasised the community's role in maintaining the fence, outlining their responsibilities. To celebrate the occasion, children from the village performed the traditional Rabha dance. The villagers expressed their gratitude by felicitating officials from British Asian Trust and the Aaranyak team and treating them to a traditional Rabha Pajar and a sumptuous lunch. (ANI)
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