Gabon: Makokou women march against elephants


Désiré-Clitandre Dzonteu, Gabon Review

Date Published

Translated from the French by an automated online translation service, so please excuse the roughness. See link for the French original.

See link for photo.

The human-elephant conflict is taking worrying proportions in various locations in Gabon. 

After Mékambo, Mouila, Fougamou where we no longer list the plantations devastated by pachyderms and where the populations gave their voice to challenge the government,  Makokou let its anger erupt on November 15. 

Following the repeated devastation of their cultures, the women of this city in northeastern Gabon organized a peaceful march towards the governorate to denounce the government’s laxity on this issue.

If the women of Makokou decided to march, “it is to denounce the silence and especially the inaction of the government which chooses to protect its elephants to the detriment of its population”, said a source from the provincial capital of Ogooué-Ivindo. The latter wonders ” how the population will cope with the looming famine in this locality”.

“The elephants devastated everything. But there is nothing we can do. And we are waiting for a government that does not react,” she regretted.

The women of Makokou, branches in hand as a sign of peace, walked to the rhythm of songs composed for the occasion. Their final destination was the governorate where they expressed their anger at this ordeal. Ironic, they recalled that ” it was the elephants who voted in the elections.”

It will be remembered that the same causes pushed the population of Mékambo into the streets last May. Despite the many promises made at the end of the consultations, the problems remain. New elephant attacks are regularly recorded all over these localities.