Jumbo invasion leaves Binga villagers desperate

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HUNGER is stalking Binga villagers after elephants strayed from the nearby Chizarira National Park and destroyed crops in several wards leaving fields resembling plains.

RICHARD MUPONDE
SENIOR REPORTER

The villagers were looking forward to a good harvest following the rains, but all their hopes were dampened by the marauding jumbos.

Reports say the jumbos destroyed fields in more than 10 wards leaving villagers with nothing to harvest, but to survive on food handouts.

Binga Ward 4 councillor Elmon Mudenda, whose ward is the most affected as it borders the park, said the situation was dire and villagers were now appealing for food aid.

“Elephants have destroyed everything in four villages out of the six in my ward and this year there will be no harvest totally,” he said.

“My ward is located three kilometres from the Chizarira National Park which is not fenced. Even in other wards people are also crying.”

“The fields are like soccer pitches. Everyday jumbos invade our fields. Villagers now admire poachers because the local authority is incapacitated to control the elephants because of lack of manpower.”

Binga North MP Dubeko Prince Sibanda yesterday confirmed that elephants destroyed crops in many areas in the district.

“It’s true. I know there are places which were heavily destroyed by the elephants. I am still to get the whole detail and I
will come back to you,” Sibanda said.

Binga has been dogged by food insecurity due to erratic rains and destruction of crops by wild animals, especially elephants, with constant calls being made for authorities to control wild animals.