Guwahati, July 8: Premier biodiversity research and conservation organisation Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org) with the overwhelming support of the Kashibari Koachpara village community, has installed a 2-km solar-powered fence around Kashibari-Kochpara in Goalpara district of western Assam to facilitate coexistence between human beings and wild elephants.
Approximately 200 people in the community, as well as families in four surrounding villages, will benefit directly from this fence that will enhance food security and reduce human-elephant conflicts, according to a Press release.
The installation of solar-powered fences was conducted with extensive support from local communities, Assam Forest Department, and funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Kashibari Kochpara solar powered fence was formally inaugurated by the DFO-Goalpara, Mr. Jitendra Kumar yesterday in presence of other forest officials. After inauguration the solar fence was handed over to the Kashibarisolar fencing committee for maintenance after signing an MoU with the Forest Department, Aaranyak, and the solar fencing committee.
Locals were urged for proper maintenance of the fence by the DFO and range officers.
Aaranyak's senior scientist, Dr. Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, who heads the Elephant Research & Conservation Division (ERCD) at Aaranyak, and Dr. Alolika Sinha interacted with the villagers on importance of the solar fence to coexist with elephants.
Moreover, Aaranyak's Anjan Baruah, an expert on solar-powered fence stressed the importance fence maintenance and the role of the villagers. A noted social worker from Lakhipur area, Sashi Bhusan Brahma, moderated the programme. Dr Namita Brahma of Tata Institute of Social Science, Guwahati, and Ashok Dey an executive member of Aaranyak were also present on the occasion.
Following the programme, Aaranyak's officials, along with community people and senior forest officials, organised a plantation event as a part of Lakhipur Forest Range's Van Mahotsav celebration, in which saplings were planted in Kumarkhali Reserve Forest.