Marauding elephants have destroyed more than 240 hectares of farmland within the last few weeks in the Mayo-Danay and Mayo-Kani divisions of the Far North region of Cameroon.
According to the Mayo-Danay Divisional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, this vast destruction of farmland and farms is capable of plunging the local populations into a period of famine.
“The localities of Bougai, Kada Karalm Koro-Koro, Moyo and Diabe in the Kalfou subdivision are the hardest hit,” said Alhadji Halla, a Mayo-Danay Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife.
“ Crops are systematically destroyed on the passage of the elephants. The local populations do not know how to scare away this specie of animals nor the way to behave when faced with the elephants and the confrontations always end up to the disadvantage of the farmers who sometimes are trampled to death by the elephants.”
Halla said seven persons died in 2020 in Mayo-Danay due to the elephants’ invasion, adding, “the last victim was in November ending, and he was an 18-year-old orphan who grew up in the locality of Mazaya and who was a student of the Yagoua technical high school”.
“In the Mayo-Kani division, a boy was on January 2, 2021, killed in the locality of Goudoum Goudoum, trampled to death by elephants which were chasing him away from the family farm,” he added.
Faced with these calamities, the locals who believe the government has abandoned them, are at a loss as to what to do.
“The local populations are now forced to think that in the eyes of the government, the animals have more value than human beings. And this because the animals are protected by international conventions signed by the government,” declared the Mayo-Danay Forestry and Wildlife Delegate.
Christian Hououa, the Divisional Delegate of Agriculture for the Mayo-Danay, on his part estimated that the destruction caused to crops by the elephants during the 2020-2021 agricultural season stands at 45.8 million FCFA (about US$900,000).