Villagers in the Dande Valley have called upon government to assist in reducing the elephant population in the area owing to increasing human-wildlife conflict.

Human-wildlife conflict continues to rage on as Zimbabwe engages the international community on the reduction of its elephant population.

For 60-year-old Friday Nyakutepa of Chapoto village in Kanyemba, the destruction of crops by elephants has become more unbearable than ever before.

“They destroy everything, from Bananas to Guavas, and government has to cull them. We now live with the elephants and at around 5-6pm they will be in our village,” said Nyakutepa.

Several other villagers in Chapoto and Angwa areas feel authorities are not doing enough to protect them and their crops.

“The parks authorities don’t chase away the animals, but only take action when they hear of poaching. We can’t farm anymore and it seems the animals are pushing further into our space,” said one of the residents

Mashonaland Central Minister of State, Cde Monica Mavhunga said government is working on measures to ensure humans are safe while maintaining harmony with nature.

“We have earmarked development of this area into a tourist resort, so we need animals, but we will try all we can to ensure people and animals live harmoniously. It is there in our concept plan,” said Cde Mavhunga.

Mbire district houses the Dande safari area which stretches up to the Zambezi River while covering thousands of square km containing a big population of wild animals.