Mitigating Human Elephant Conflict Through Communication And Constructions Of Toilets With Tube-well- As Innovative Approach

Saha, Sanjit Kumar

Abstract

Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) is a major protection threat in the fringe villages of the Jaldapara National Park (JPNP) of West Bengal. JPNP is facing challenge from the highly populated fringe villages, existing in the elephant corridor. In between 2015-18 elephant mortality was 12 Nos. Human mortality, by elephant during the same period was 34 Nos. As per data, most of the elephant depredation occurred in the fringe villages of Madarihat and Jaldapara North Range. As per ‘place of incidence’ of human casualties, Chhekamari and Khairbari villages of Madarihat Range are in the most vulnerable list. Most of the human casualties occurred in the early morning (5:00 am to 06:00 am) and in the evening, when people are going outside for open defecation. On pilot basis Chhekamari and Khairbari villages of Madarihat Range were selected for the door to door household survey. The results of survey is that both the villages are tribal and minority populated, socio-economic condition of the people are very poor, on an average 5 to 6 members are there in each household, source of drinking water is community well for most of the households, 50 Nos. household are devoid of any Toilet facilities and automatically the members of those households are going outside for Open Defecation (OD). Out of the total human mortality, 16 Nos. itself occur in the Madarihat area and out of this 16 death case, 6 was from the Chhekamari & Khairbari villages. For this reason, depending on available fund 20 Toilet with tube-well was built in the 20 neediest household of this 2 villages. All the communication made with the community people and behavioural changes also inflicted among the community people with their participation to assure the 100% usage of those toilets. Still now no death case reported, after the distributions of those toilets.

Keyword(s)

HEC; JPNP; OD; Communication; Toilets; Behavioural Changes; Mitigation

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