The instructions were granted by the Prime Minister for the initiation of a pilot project in the Kurunegala and Anuradhapura districts to assist the community and local stakeholders to maintain electric fences as a solution for the long-term human-elephant conflict.
This will be done in accordance with the President’s Special Committee’s recommendations for resolving the human-elephant conflict. While engaging in a recent meeting at Temple Trees on the construction of an island-wide electric fence, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa issued the directions.
He believes that rather than entrusting the entire responsibility to the Department of Wildlife Conservation or the Department of Civil Security, the human-elephant conflict can be managed by a voluntary force made up of relevant Divisional Secretariats, the Department of Agrarian Development, the Mahaweli Authority, Grama Niladharis, government agencies, officials, and rural organizations.
In 2021, the Wildlife Conservation Department plans to build a 1,500-kilometer electric fence as part of a countrywide initiative.
The relevant procurement process for obtaining raw material has been finished, and the Armed Forces, Civil Defense Department, Divisional Wildlife Offices, and Divisional Secretariats from 19 districts are all contributing to the elephant fence’s construction.
According to the Department of Wildlife Conservation, 3,900 Civil Security Department troops have been deployed to repair the 4,500km long fence that has been built, as well as 1,500 employees from the Department of Multipurpose Development.