Electric fence in place to keep tuskers at bay (Nepal)


Katmandu Post

Date Published
The National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) in support with the World Bank has stepped up the effort tomitigate the increasing human-elephant conflict at Bahundangi, a village bordering Illam and Jhapa districts, by constructing an 18 km offset electric fence.

The locals from the villages, particularly Bahundangi, Budhabare and Shanishchare, have been dealing with elephant attacks for long, which has caused significant damage to lives and properties.

“The installation of the offset fence from Jirmale in Illam to Mechinagar in Jhapa was completed just two weeks ago. Unlike the traditional electric fences used in the country that are easily destroyed by the elephants, the latest fencing technology is designed to stop the elephants from attacking the posts that are now placed inclined to support the wires that carry electric impulses ranging between 4000 to 10,000 volts,” said Siddhartha Bajracharya, programme director at NTNC.

In most cases with the existing electric fence being used in different places to mitigate the human-wildlife conflict, elephants are found attacking and loosening the posts erected to support the electric wires around it thus gaining access into human settlements. Considering this challenge, the new offset fence technology promoted by Fenzgard India uses power energiser that converts power into a brief high voltage pulse. When an elephant touches the electrical wire and the earth during a pulse will complete an electrical circuit and will conduct the pulse, causing an electric shock.

“It has been found effective. The locals from Bahundangi have said that the crop production, especially paddy and maize, that were destroyed by elephants in the past has improved,” Bajracharya said.

More than 21 people lost their lives and 24 were injured in Jhapa in the last four years due to the conflict with elephants. The government has released Rs 7.5 million in the same period as compensation for the affected families
from the elephant conflict, according to the District Forest Office in Jhapa, the implementing partner of the project with NTNC.