Northern Mahottari under threat of elephantsTwo dozen houses in Rajbas have been destroyed in wild elephant attacks.
Villagers in the northern part of Mahottari district have been living under the threat of wild elephant attacks for the past week.
In Rajbas, Bardibas-3, a herd of elephants destroyed five houses and damaged crops within the week. So far, more than two dozen houses in the area have been destroyed and 50 houses have been partially damaged in elephant attacks. Ganesh Basnet, a ward member of Bardibas-3, said that the animals destroyed two houses and a large area of maize and paddy farmlands on Wednesday night.
Locals said they have been forced to spend sleepless nights due to wild elephant menace. The villagers have resorted to building bonfires and staying up all night to prevent elephants from entering their settlements. Apsara Karki, a resident of Rajbas, said that she has not slept for the last five nights for fear of being attacked by wild elephants.
“The elephants stay in the forest during the day and enter our settlements at night. We form groups and stay up all night to keeps the elephants away,” Karki said.
Elephant menace has mostly affected the residents of Parsaidhap, Rajbas, Marka, Kalapani, Patu, and Gauridanda in Bardibas Municipality.
“If we try to chase them away, they attack us. These elephants have made our lives miserable,” Karki added. Bishnu Thapa, a resident of Rajbas, said that the elephants have destroyed a large swath of his paddy field. “The elephants also uproot irrigation pipes and water pipelines. Because of this, around 45 households in Rajbas are compelled to lug water from wells,” said Thapa.
Locals have been seeking help from the concerned authorities to control wild elephants.
Hemanta Prakash Sah, the division forest officer, said he has deployed six people to drive the elephants away from human settlements.
“We have also told the villagers to stay alert and stay in groups at night,” Sah said. Meanwhile, Bidur Kumar Karki, mayor of Bardibas Municipality, said the municipal office will help the victims of elephant attacks rebuild their houses.