from SNIKE MZULAH in Chiavonga, Zambia
SIAVONGA, (CAJ News) – VILLAGERS in some southern Zambia are living in fear after what they say is the worst incursion by elephants.
The elephants are believed to have strayed from neighbouring Zimbabwe and wreaked havoc in Chizilika area in Mulimya ward of Siavonga District.
Senior headman, Dickson Chileke, has said that the elephants have been in the area since last week.
“People are not free to move about from the time the elephants started frequenting the area looking for food,” he said.
Chileke appealed to the Department of National Parks and WildLife (DNPW) to intervene.
Herds of elephants have also invaded maize and sorghum fields located in Chalokwa, Manyepa and Shabamba areas of Nanyanga ward along the Zambezi River in Siavonga.
One of the affected people, Christopher Bandela, said many local people were counting losses due to the destruction of the crops by the giant animals.
“We are asking the DNPW to immediately stop the elephants before more crops are eaten by jumbos,” he said.
Headman Kingsley Simupande of Chalokwa village noted that this was one of a few villages that received some decent rain but this could prove futile as well cultivated crops are devoured by elephants.
The elephants have also destroyed fields in Siabamba.
Headman Chalowa appealed to the communities in the area to be careful since the elephants, once wounded, could pose a danger to humans.
A source at DNPW said the department was aware about the human-wildlife conflict in the district but could not comment further.
Stray wild animals including the big five have crossed Zambezi River from Zimbabwe and have terrorized locals and devoured crops in Siavonga in recent times.
– CAJ News