Assam: Goalpara villages get 2-km long solar-powered fences to ease coexistence with elephants

Assam Goalpara village gets 2-km solar-powered fences that allow elephants and humans to coexist

Guwahati:  Aaranyak,  one of India’s leading biodiversity conservation organizations, with the overwhelming support of the Kashibari Koachpara village community, has installed a 2-km solar-powered fence around Kashibari-Kochpara in Lower Assam’s Goalpara district to facilitate coexistence between humans and elephants.

Aranyak released a statement saying that approximately 200 community members and families living in four nearby villages will be directly benefited by the fence. The fence improves food security as well as reduces conflict between human-elephant populations.

Solar-powered fences were installed with the support of local communities and Forest Department. Funding was provided by US Fish and Wildlife Service.

On Thursday, the DFO-officials officially inaugurated Kashibari Kochpara’s solar-powered fence
Goalpara Jitendra Kumar in the presence of forest officers.

After signing an MoU agreement with Aaranyak and the Forest Department, the DFO, the ribbon was cut and the DFO inaugurated the solar fence. The Kashibari committee responsible for maintaining the solar fence has since been transferred to them.

The DFO and Range Officers addressed the group to urge locals to maintain the fence.

Aaranyak’s senior scientist, Dr. Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, who heads the Elephant Research & Conservation Division (ERCD) at Aaranyak, and Dr. Alolika Sinha interacted with the villagers on the importance of the solar fence to coexist with elephants.

Moreover, Aaranyak’s Anjan Baruah, an expert on solar-powered fence stressed the importance of fence maintenance and the role of the villagers.

They expressed gratitude to Aaranyak, the forest department and for installing the solar fencing so their property, crops and lives would be safe. Social security was also achieved by the fences.

Following the programme, Aaranyak’s officials, along with community people and senior forest officials, organised a plantation event as a part of Lakhipur Forest Range’s Van Mahotsav celebration, in which saplings were planted in Kumarkhali Reserve Forest.