Some Cocoa Farmers at Assin Abodwesaso in the Assin South District of the Central Region have expressed concern over rampaging elephants destroying their cocoa farms in the area.
The communities, which are being affected by this development, include Homaho, Kwafokrom, Domeabra, Kojo Akuapem, Haruna, Seriboukrom, Aboabo camp and 12 others.
According to the farmers, they sometimes risk their lives by confronting the elephants with sticks.
The elephants are said to be from the Kakum Forest and feed on and destroy cocoa farms in the area.
The farmers want government, as well as the Game and Wildlife Department, to act or they’ll have to gun down the animals to save their farms.
The Chief Farmer of Assin Abodwesaso, Ofori Quaye, and other aggrieved farmers, said they will not sit down for the elephants to destroy the cash crops which development was nearing a level where they are to enjoy the fruit of their labour.
“It is very sad for the crops to be eaten by the elephants when we rely on this to take care of our families, pay school fees and pay other bills.
“We are ready to fight with the wildlife people and kill the elephants to protect our living if the government does not intervene. The government can kill us after we have killed the animals if it wants because we have our livelihood to protect,’ an angry farmer said.
Another farmer said they have looked for guns to kill the elephants but their respect for the laws of Ghana was the only thing that was restraining them whenever their farms were destroyed.
Some aggrieved female farmers said they struggled to survive by growing other crops such as plantain and cassava alongside the cocoa but the elephants eat all.
“Even as women as we are, we will get ourselves guns to come and shoot the animals to prevent them from causing us misery all the time,” the emotional farmers said.
The farmers have also been refused compensation as Wildlife officials insist the farmers are rather encroaching on their space.
“Not even extent-of-damage assessments by the NADMO and wildlife officials from the district have yielded any results so far. This behaviour is one too many and we must show them where power lies today,” the aggrieved farmers said.
Story: Today CORRESPONDENT