Gabon Review

Stevie Mounombou,
April 26, 2021

The populations of Mekambo recently demonstrated against the rampaging of their plantations by elephants. They demand the arrival in the capital of the department of Zadié, of the Minister of Forestry “in order to give concrete and rapid responses to this tragedy which threatens (their) food and physical security”.

Mekambo was in turmoil on April 17th. The populations have stepped up to the plate to demonstrate against the rampaging of their plantations by elephants. In a video relayed on social networks, their spokesperson justified the movement because of the annoyance of the population. Especially since the elephants dear to the Minister of Forests, Lee White, are a fully protected species, regretted Arnaud Moando-Ma Sinandong.

The demonstrators of the capital of the department of Zadié, in Ogooué Ivindo, conditioned the end of their movement by “the arrival of the Minister of Water and Forests in Mekambo in order to give concrete and rapid responses to this tragedy which threatens our food and physical security”.  According to Lee White, Gabon has recorded the loss of 1/3 of its elephants in the past 15 years due to poaching. This phenomenon would force the pachyderms to find refuge near the villages thus amplifying the human-fauna conflict.

To limit these conflicts, Gabon has launched an ambitious project to build electric barriers in the villages, thus making it possible to secure the cultures of 1,000 families. To date, the country has 13 devices of this type on control sites in four provinces (Ogooué-Ivindo, Estuaire, Ogooué-Maritime, and Nyanga). Lee White’s ambition is to intensify the construction of electrical barriers in 2021.

A budget line of one billion dedicated to this problem has been entered in the State budget for the year 2021. Pending this horizon, the populations of Mekambo who are ruminating their anger, do not rule out attacking them. elephants to save their crops and survive.