17th April 2021 Zimbabwe
By Bulawayo Correspondent
PROSPECTS of a bumper harvest by some Binga villagers this year have been dented by marauding elephants which are destroying crops in the Matabeleland North area.
Most parts of the country received normal to above normal rainfall this year following years of successive droughts.
Siyanzundu traditional leader, Chief Saba told NewZimbabwe.com some elephants herds straying from the Hwange and Chizarira National Parks were destroying crops.
“This year, we have witnessed an unprecedented number of elephants which are destroying our crops particularly maize,” said Chief Saba.
“Following good rains this year, almost every household in this area was expecting a decent harvest but these elephants have made our lives unbearable.”
The traditional leader said a lot of villagers in his area now preferred to sleep in their fields in a desperate bid to salvage their remaining yield.
“The situation is now so dire that some villagers are now sleeping in their fields trying to scare away the marauding animals.
“People are also risking their lives while scaring away the elephants using drums and hand-made cymbals.
“We have incidences where villagers have been injured while running away from charging bull elephants,” said Chief Saba.
Earlier on, while giving a vote of thanks during the commissioning of a NetOne booster in the area last Saturday, the traditional leader pleaded with Vice President Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to address the issue of problematic animals in the area.
“We are appealing to the government to do something on the elephants which are destroying our crops. Most people will not be able harvest anything this year,” Chief Saba told Chiwenga.
Some farmers have also resorted to harvesting their crops before maturity fearing the worst.
A farmer in the area Joseph Mwande said he lost nearly half of his sorghum crop to the browsing jumbos.
“This year we were advised to grow small grains by agricultural experts as mitigation against erratic rains. All our hopes have been shattered by the elephants,” said Mwande