The Paramount Chief of the Sakote traditional area in the Upper East Region, Naba Sigiri Bewong has envisaged a famine in his area this year due to the perpetual invasion of elephants on his people’s farmlands.
He was addressing a gathering during the celebration of this year’s Tenglebigre festival at Sekoti on Saturday.
The elephants have been wreaking a lot of havoc on farmlands in the area every year, leading to inadequate harvest, thereby occasioning countless promises by the government to address the problem.
This, the former president of the Upper East Regional house of chiefs said, has put fear in farmers in his area, and prevents them from farming, revealing that the few farmers who attempted farming had their crops destroyed.
He said the devastation caused to farms and cash trees such as shea butter has left the youth with no alternative but to venture into illegal Small Scale mining popularly known as ‘Galamsey’.
He therefore used the platform to appeal to the central government to put in place mechanisms to ward off the invasion of the elephants since his report to the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Nabdam has not yielded the needed result.
“I have repeatedly raised the issue of elephant invasion here. The elephants keep multiplying in their numbers, and I can boldly say they are over 600 in the forest. They come into the community to drink water from our dam. This year, over 80% of our farmers were afraid to farm for fear of their crops being destroyed or eaten by the elephants. The very few farmers who attempted to farm had their crops eate21n by the farmers. I made a report to our District Chief Executive, and she came with NADMO officials and visited the affected farms to see things for themselves. Since then the farmers have not been given any form of relief. Hunger is staring at our faces this year because we have not been able to farm. We do not have any alternative means of livelihood apart from farming. No wonder the youth are now busy on “Galamsey”. Can we blame them?. Shea trees have been destroyed,” he lamented.
He also expressed appreciation to the government for the provision of dams in his area but was however quick to bring to the attention of government that the contractor working on the dam near his house has left the site due to the government’s inability to pay him for work done.
He thus appealed to the Northern Development Authority (NDA) to endeavour to do something about the situation.
Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for the Nabdam constituency, Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane assured Naba Sigiri Bewong of the NDC’s commitment to fighting the invasion of the elephants on the people’s farms.
He said he has constantly been lodging complaints to the sector minister concerning the problem but has not action yet.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1 MHz|Elijah Beyeni Yenibey|Bolgatanga