School-going kids and farmers in Gbarpolu County are complaining of the recent constant incursion of elephants into towns and villages that are posing threat to their academic and agricultural activities.
Speaking to the Liberia News Agency (LINA) in Gbogolala District, Gbarpolu County on Monday, the school-age children disclosed that in recent times they have been threatened by elephants while on their way to school in the surrounding towns and villages.
According to the students, since the opening of the new school year, they have not been able to attend classes due to the presence of elephants along the routes to towns, villages and nearby farms.
They told LINA correspondent that they are currently unable to go to distant schools for fear of coming into contact with the rampaging elephants on the main roads to their school campuses.
The students are, accordingly, calling on national government to quickly intervene to enable them resume their schooling.
Also speaking to our correspondent, some citizens of Tolmukwale Town, one of the affected communities in Gbarpolu County, indicated that sometimes they think about killing the animals, but are afraid that they might face the wrath of the Forestry Development Authority which has a policy cautioning citizens against killing endangered species such as elephants.
The citizens said the FDA policy of zero tolerance of killing wildlife is also giving the elephants the leeway to destroy their crops.
An elder of Tumukwale said: “We can tolerate the animals destroying our crops but if they are depriving our children from going to school, then the government will have to choose between us and the animals.”
According to LINA correspondent who visited the area, most school campuses were seen empty and farmers were also not venturing on their farms to carry on their activities.
Gbogolala is one of the districts in Gbarpolu County with very dense forest that farmers like to cultivate for the high yield of rice and other crops and vegetables.