About 97 Elephants have invaded Datoko and surrounding communities in the Upper East Region, causing insecurity to farmers, women and children.
The scare from the elephants has prevented residents from embarking on their seasonal farming activities in the area.
The Elephants destroyed about 79 hectors of farm produce last year, and this season, they are back to the communities at the period when farmers are busy making efforts to prepare their farmlands for the season.
Mr Emmanuel Boabil Tiwol, Assemblyman for the Datoko Electoral Area who made this known in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), indicated that “Women in the communities cannot carry out their farming activities, which has been Shea nut picking as these nuts have become food for the Elephants.
Mr Tiwol expressed worry that the safety of the community members was not guaranteed and said the people had been denied livelihoods “as they can no longer be engaged on their farms and Shea nut picking activities due to the presence of the elephants”.
Later in an interview with the GNA, Mr John Naada, Regional Manager of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission in the Upper East Region, disclosed that measures were taken last year to ensure the safety of the people and to enable them go about their daily activities.
“The Division is aware of the presence of the elephants in the area and as at last year we deplored men who were on the ground till the elephants left the place and we are equally making efforts to ensure the safety of the people to enable them go about their activities”.
Mr Naada indicated that his outfit had educated the people on strategies to use to drive the elephants away and mentioned gun powder blowers, and drums, adding that “the agency is putting up measures to ensure the safety in the communities in future”.
He mentioned that the presence of the elephants in the area was as result of the illegal mining activities that had taken place in the forest, which was the habitat of the elephants and urged the people in the area to be cautious with such activities in the forest.
A visit to the community by the Ghana News Agency revealed that farmers were in their various homes instead of being on their farms to carry out their usual farming activities.
Nobilsongkusu-ayebey Nicholas Borizina, Chief of the area told the GNA that the community members have never received any instruction from the wild life division to aid them drive away the elephants.