Concerned citizen pleads with JB to act on Liwonde marauding elephants

A concerned resident of Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, has sent an emotional appeal to President Joyce Banda to swiftly find a lasting solution to the marauding elephants of Liwonde National park.

Over the last few months, the elephants have been straying and terrorizing people of Liwonde and surrounding areas killing villagers as well as damaging their property including food.

People around the area are now living in fear of the powerful and violent wild animals as it appears there is no solution in sight to drive them back in the park for good.

And the concerned citizen, Gabriel Mmina, says it was high time government did something to save lives and property of the already-needy villagers.

Gabriel Mmina: Help us
Gabriel Mmina: Help us

“I am pleading, on behalf of the villagers, with the President Dr. Joyce Banda to act on these elephants. People have no peace because they are not sure who next will be attacked,” said Mmina.

Over 100 elephants, currently straying in the West Bank of Shire River in Liwonde National Park, go out in the villages terrorizing communities particularly in Balaka and Liwonde.

National Parks Divisional Manager Samuel Nyanyale said a few weeks ago the increased numbers of elephants in the park was what forced the animals to search for food outside the park.

The dilapidated fence along the park is what has given the elephants a lee-way to go out of the park into the people’s fields.

A few weeks ago during the elevation of Senior Chief Liwonde, the president issued a directive to the relevant ministry (Tourism, Wildlife and Culture) to cordon off the national park with an electric fence to deter the wild animals from going into the villages but until now there is nothing happen.

“If there is no money for that at the moment, government must put in place a short term solution to the issue before we lose many lives and property,” said Mmana.

Among other affected villages are Ngasale, Bandawe, Namaya, Mwima and Liwonde where scores of people are reported to have been attacked and their property destroyed.

The elephants have already killed two people at Ngasale and Bandawe villages. Two months ago three people were also killed by the same elephants in Zomba and Balaka.

“The people around the villages have no means to voice their frustration and fear. A few days ago we went to Ngasale and Akimu villages in the area to shoot a video documentary and when people saw us they thought we were from MBC Television and they started expressing their fears asking us to put on television. When we told them we were not from MBC TV they didn’t believe us and continued with their sad tales, the situation is bad,” explained Mmina.

He added: “I am pleading with the president to act urgently and protect her people. People want security for their lives as well as property. She must set up a committee to look into the matter as soon as possible. My plea also goes to NGOs that can assist.”

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