Marauding elephants have continued to give farmers in the border lying areas of Gwanda south sleepless nights as the jumbos have destroyed crops and irrigation infrastructure.
Mankonkoni, Sebasa and Rustlers Gorge are the three irrigation schemes that have benefited from Mashaba solar mini grid, a project that is meant to boost farming activities in the drought prone district.
However, marauding elephants have continued to give farmers sleepless nights as the jumbos that having been destroying crops and irrigation infrastructure.
The farmers say this problem has severely affected food production.
“These schemes are our sources of livelihood, so we are very much concerned about the level of destruction being caused by these animals,” said one of the farmers.
Matabeleland South Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Abednico Ncube appealed to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) to assist communities affected by these problem animals as people livelihoods are being affected.
“I am appealing to Zimparks to try and assist these communities as they depend on the irrigation schemes for food and income,” he said.
Zimparks officials, however, urged communities to report problem animals for speedy intervention highlighting that they are doing awareness campaigns to also help communities to co-exist with some of these animals because tourists visit the area on hunting safaris and in turn earns the country some foreign currency.
In Matabeleland South villagers living along the borders of Botswana and South Africa face perennial problems with marauding elephants.