To promote the Human-Elephant Co-Existence (HECO-EX) model, ESCAMP targets to build 47 Village Fences by the end of the project, of which 22 Village Fences would be in the Anuradhapura District. Thirty Paddy Field Fences are also due to be erected in Anuradhapura according to the guidelines provided by ESCAMP. These guidelines include the following:
- Need and cost assessment
- Presenting the guidelines of the program and clarifying roles to the village to gain acceptance
- Establishment of a Community Based Organisation (CBO) to shoulder the responsibility
- Creating a bank account and transparent accounting system
- Obtaining District Secretariat approval
- Identification of boundary area
- GPS mapping of the proposed boundary
- Building a hut for the energizer and solar power unit.
- Securing required equipment through ESCAMP
- Delivery of posts to the village
- Erection of posts and building the fence
- Commissioning the fence
Progress of Community Fencing in Anuradhapura District – as of end March 2022
Adopting the HECO-EX model depends on the willingness of human-elephant conflict affected communities to take the initiative of forming a CBO with the objective of managing the process. However, due to the current situation in the country, there has been a reluctance among community members to commit to the programme. Therefore, while ESCAMP has introduced the HECOEX guidelines to 19 villages, only thirteen have voluntarily taken the initiative of forming CBOs.
As the project period draws to a close, the Community Fencing Program in the Anuradhapura District is gaining momentum with 10 villages now at different stages of completion, while three have completed the erection of village fences.
While the Department of Agrarian Development has recommended 35 sites in the Anuradhapura District for Paddy Field Fences, ESCAMP is in the process of selecting 30 sites to establish dismantlable Paddy Field fences.
Summary of the Progress of Fencing in Anuradhapura as of end March, 2022
- 3 Village fences are completed (Helambawewa, Kandanekatunawewa, Nayakapuwewa Part I)
- 1 Energizer Huts are installed and fence erection is in progress (Pudukkulama)
- 1 Energizer Hut is completed and clearing of fence path is in progress (Kapiriggama)
- 3 Energizer Huts are under construction (Konakumbukwewa, Ulpathgama Viharagama)
- 4 more fence paths were identified, GPS readings were recorded and mapped.
- 6 more villages were identified and awareness programs were conducted.
- Awareness programmes were conducted for Grama Niladharies of Mahawilachchiya, Nochchiyagama, Rambawa and Central Nuwaragam Palatha Divisional Secretary areas in Anuradhapura district and identified the new villages effected with Human Elephant Conflict, for fencing.
Paddy Field Fencing
- 35 Paddy fields in Anuradhapura District were identified on the request of Farmer organizations and recommendation of Deputy Commissioner (Anuradhapura) of the Department of Agrarian Development (DAD)
- Awareness programmes were conducted for Agrarian Development officers who are in charge of paddy fields in Thanthirimale and Kekirawa.
- Visited 25 paddy fields in Thanthirimale, Kekirawa, Paymaduwa, Habarana and Ranorawa divisions recommended by DAD, GPS readings were recorded and mapped to identify the length of the proposed fences.
- Procurement of GI fence posts for Helambawewa, Suriyadamana, Heenadutuwewa, Bimsara, Kudapuliyankulama, Ihala Helambawewa paddy field, through the Farmer Organizations is in progress.