GUWAHATI: Single-wire solar fence and solar stand lights have been installed in West Garo Hills villages of Meghalaya by Aaranyak, a premier research-based biodiversity conservation organisation in the region, to mitigate the raging Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) so as to facilitate coexistence.
A community-managed single-wire and 1.2 km-long circular solar fence was installed at Borogobal Part-III village in West Garo Hills of Meghalaya by the team of Aaranyak, which has been working relentlessly for the mitigation of HEC and to facilitate coexistence in this landscape. This solar fence is meant to protect the standing paddy of farmers, houses, and the human lives of 24 households in the village that is frequented by herds of wild elephants.
The solar fence has been installed by Aaranyak and the British Asian Trust with support from the Darwin Initiative (UK Aid) and the cooperation of the Meghalaya Forest Department. The solar fence was installed following the hands-on training provided to the community on the installation and management of such a solar-powered fence to mitigate conflict with wild elephants. The training was conducted on November 18, and 26 people from all the households, including women, participated to help protect their village and establish coexistence between human beings and elephants.
A 11-member solar fencing management committee was formed before the installation to facilitate community-oriented management of the solar fence. The committee has three female members, including the vice president. The Aaranyak resource team, comprising Anjan Baruah, Nipul Chakma, Ripunjoy Nath, Subhas Rabha, and Rupam Goyari, was involved in the implementation of the project. The team provided technical guidance and hand-holding support to the community during the installation of a solar fence in Borogobal Part-III village.
A Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, recognised by the DSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 with registration number 3096 of 1989-90 Earlier, Aaranyak and the British Asian Trust, with support from the Darwin Initiative (UK Aid), had installed solar stand-lights in seven villages in the West Garo Hills for the mitigation of HEC and to facilitate coexistence, stated a press release.