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Electric Fence Thuma

The Great Thuma Fence Extension - A Success Story And An Ongoing Challenge

Maize field destroyed by elephants

Maize field destroyed by elephants.
A survey was completed by villagers before and after the fence was erected.
These are some of the comments they had:

"Just appreciating to well-wishers"
"We are staying well without elephant problem"
"Just appreciate what has been done 2yrs ago"
"I am proud of the fence"
"My life has changed cause no more elephants coming out"
"Our harvests are now safe"
"Our crops are now protected"
"I can relax at night - I don’t have to worry about elephants destroying fields"
"It has helped because there isn’t damage that used to occur"
"Harvesting mature crops unlike previous years"
"It’s better now because they just see elephants inside but no damages out"
"Elephants are not coming out at all"
"Congratulations for the fence because the elephants are not coming out any more..
..and crops are harvested at a good time unlike before"

It’s that time of year again - The Great Thuma Fence Extension. Where the fence is in existence, villagers are delighted as there has been less crop damage and a greater sense of security. People can at last sleep more peacefully at night without fears that their crops will be destroyed by elephants. Happy fed people means that there is less pressure to subsidy their diet from the forest. And because the elephants are kept within the forest boundary they are easier to protect from poachers. There is no greater need for this than now with elephants threatened by extinction by 2025. 56km has been completed already (Thanks to all your donations!!). The target for 2015 is to build another 25km but to do this we need your help. Work will take place in October before the rains come again. It costs about Euro 2000 per kilometre.

Please help us to complete the vital next stage.

New bee hive fence trail

July 2013: New bee hive fence trail started.

Bee Hive Fence in Thuma FR.

Dec. 2013: Bees arrive at pilot bee hive fence project
along northern boundary of Thuma!

The Ultimatum

In 2013 WAG had been given an ultimatum by the local government department, to fence off the remaining reserve within the next 6 months to protect the local communities, or the elephant population will be relocated to National Parks elsewhere in the country.

As the ever growing human population moves closer the edge of the reserve to grow crops for food, the elephants who have freely roamed the area between Thuma Forest Reserve and Dedza Forest Reserve in the Salima district of Malawi, for hundreds of years, are increasingly coming into contact with humans.

Addressing the human-elephant conflict is essential in finding a sustainable way forward for both the local communities and the wildlife. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with most of the population living on less than 1 euro a day. The majority of the population need to farm at subsistence level in order to survive.

The Facts

Translocating elephants has seen observations of up to 25% mortality (Nelson et al 2003). Both sexes show a reduced lifespan, decreased body condition and increased juvenile mortality after translocation. (Pinter-Wollman et al. 2009)

elephant killed

Georg Kloeble with an elephant killed by angry villagers after crop raid and harassing of people

WAG has spent many years successfully addressing the balance to bring back the wild elephant population from the brink of extinction, (due to human pressure from poaching and habitat exploitation) through daily patrolling and protecting the forest and its animals, fundraising, donations and a global volunteer program supporting forest rejuvenation.

The forest needs flagship species such as elephants to help balance the eco-system through seed dispersal, and natural habitat engineering. Many other species are dependent on the presence of elephants. There may also be adverse impacts as a larger population of elephant is suddenly introduced within the new release site.

Removal of the elephant from this area will significantly reduce the potential for economic development in neighbouring communities through tourism enterprises.

Without Flagship species such as the African Elephant, the long term conservation support for vital ecosystems such as Thuma & Dedza – Salima Forest Reserves will significantly reduce. Without this vital funding, the habitat will not be able to be sustainably managed and utilised for the long-term benefit of the human population, flora and fauna both in the immediate future and for generations to come.

We Need Your Help!

Your donation will help to ensure the reserve is enclosed entirely and the elephants will be saved from the stressful and highly risky strategy of relocation. In addition, hundreds of people will be able to more safely subsistence farm, around the edge of the reserve, which in turn will provide food security for these poverty stricken communities.

  • 2 Euros will pay for materials and labour for 1 metre of fencing.
  • 20 Euros will pay for materials and labour for 10 metres of fencing
  • 200 Euros will pay for materials and labour for 100 metres of fencing.
  • 2000 Euros will pay for materials and labour for 1 Km of fencing.

Please help us to complete the vital next stage.

Sign up to our mailing list and we will keep you updated on our progress. Thank you.

Wildlife Action Group Malawi
Account No. 7040007627900

Thank You!

We are very thankful for the support of our generous donors and partners in our continuous effort to protect Malawi’s forest and wildlife for future generations. THANK YOU!