Every night, elephants penetrate into Bangladesh crossing the border, and consume varieties of crops
Farmers in India-Bangladesh border areas of Roumari and Rajibpur upazilas in Kurigram district are worried for the devastation caused by Indian wild elephants.
Every night, the wild elephants penetrate into Bangladesh by crossing the border and consume varieties of crops, including paddy.
The farmers try to chase away the elephants by playing drums and lighting fires. But the measures are not always effective.
Over the past week, a herd of elephants from the hills of Garo Hills district of Meghalaya in India have been entering Bangladesh through the Kalaichar border.
There are 20 to 35 wild elephants in each group and they are consuming, and destroying the crops of the surrounding areas of Roumari upazila including Algarchar, Khewarchar, Bakbanda, Jhaubari, Chuliarchar and Baraibari chars.
As a result, farmers are witnessing financial losses.
Local farmers allege that by crossing border pillars between 1057 and 1072 every night, the wild elephant herds enter Bangladesh territory.
After the overnight damages and consumptions, these elephants stay on the no-man's land of the border.
Moreover, the elephants attach the farmers' residences when they need food, alleged the farmers.
Abul Hossain, a farmer of Baraibari char in Roumari, said an Indian wild elephant have destroyed one bigha of his land by consuming matured paddy and also damaged the remaining crop by thrashing with feet.
"In this season every year, Indian elephants enter Bangladesh and cause extensive damage to crops and residences," he added.
Babul Hossain, another farmer from Sandarpara village in Rajibpur upazila, said that almost every night, some 30 to 35 wild elephants from the Garo Hills of India enter Bangladesh crossing the barbed wire fences, eat ripe paddy and destroy crop fields.
"On Tuesday, one bigha of my land was eaten and destroyed," he added.
Roumari upazila Agriculture Officer Shahriar Hossain said Indian wild elephants had destroyed crops of some 40 farmers.
"We are identifying the damage. However, we are advising farmers to cut the ripe paddy as soon as the elephants move away from the crop fields," he added.
Al Imran, Roumari upazila nirbahi officer (UNO), said that there are initiatives to chase away the elephants following traditional methods.
We are also informing the matter to the border guards, added the UNO.
Lt Colonel SM Azad, commander of 35 Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), said that they had contacted Border Security Force of India several times so that Indian elephants cannot enter Bangladesh.
"Earlier, several BGB members were injured while trying to control the wild elephants. The locals are advised to be wary of those elephants," he added.