Villages in the Far North Region of Cameroon may soon be plunged into famine after marauding elephants destroyed many farms and chased villagers away.
The villagers were already troubled by the increase in Boko Haram raids of destruction and impacts of COVID-19 in 2020.
After the destruction caused by granivorous birds in the Waza subdivision in Logone and Chari division, it is the return of elephants in the department of Mayo-Danay that is giving sleepless nights to the people of Kalfou subdivision.
The invading elephants which are more than 30 in number are said to have escaped from their Kalfou reserve in search of water which is becoming a very rare commodity in the area.
“On their path, they have been massively destroying millet and maize farms conjuring scenarios of famine in the days ahead if nothing is done very quickly,” declared an environmental activist in Waza.
“While some of the people have been forced to flee from their farm habitations, other more courageous ones have been facing the marauding elephants with bows and arrows, forcing them to change course but not retreating back into their reserve in Kalfou,” the environmentalist disclosed.
But there have been no human deaths in the confrontations between humans and the elephants as they fight for a livelihood in the face of dwindling natural alimentary provisions due to the effects of climate change.
So far, there has been no visible government response to the ongoing battle between the elephants and the local populations.
It should be recalled here that this is not the first time the local populations in the Far North Region are facing destruction and subsequent famine due to the activities of elephants in the region.
In 2019, a herd of 100 elephants invaded the villages of Koala and Daiba Tiyou as well as the subdivisions of Yagoua and Wina, destroying farms and chasing away their populations from their habitats.
The elephants also destroyed cereal storage facilities and their contents which generally serve as food reserves in the region which has over the years been facing food security problems.