In Western Liberia Marauding Elephants Threaten Schooling and Farming

Elephant attacking a man in Odisha, India – Photo credit: Sun Times

School-going kids and farmers in Gbarpolu  County are complaining of the recent constant incursion of elephants  into towns and villages that are posing threat to their academic and  agricultural activities.

Speaking to the Liberia News Agency (LINA) in Gbogolala District,  Gbarpolu County on Monday, the school-age children disclosed that in  recent times they have been threatened by elephants while on their way  to school in the surrounding towns and villages.

According to the students, since the opening of the new school year,  they have not been able to attend classes due to the presence of  elephants along the routes to towns, villages and nearby farms.

They told LINA correspondent that they are currently unable to go to  distant schools for fear of coming into contact with the rampaging  elephants on the main roads to their school campuses.

The students are, accordingly, calling on national government to  quickly intervene to enable them resume their schooling.

Also speaking to our correspondent, some citizens of Tolmukwale Town,  one of the affected communities in Gbarpolu County, indicated that  sometimes they think about killing the animals, but are afraid that  they might face the wrath of the Forestry Development Authority which  has a policy cautioning citizens against killing endangered species  such as elephants.

The citizens said the FDA policy of zero tolerance of killing wildlife  is also giving the elephants the leeway to destroy their crops.

An elder of Tumukwale said: “We can tolerate the animals destroying  our crops but if they are depriving our children from going to school,  then the government will have to choose between us and the animals.”

According to LINA correspondent who visited the area, most school  campuses were seen empty and farmers were also not venturing on their  farms to carry on their activities.

Gbogolala is one of the districts in Gbarpolu County with very dense  forest that farmers like to cultivate for the high yield of rice and  other crops and vegetables.


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About Cholo Brooks 16857 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.