Villagers from Thong Pha Phum district of Kanchanaburi province have proposed that areas prone to attacks by wild elephants be declared a disaster zone.
The villagers made this proposal during a meeting to lay down measures to cope with the problem of wild elephants invading villages and plantations in Thong Pha Phum district.
The meeting, chaired by deputy governor Anan Nakniyom, passed a resolution for the proposal to be forwarded to the provincial governor to declare areas frequently attacked by wild elephants a disaster zone.
With the declaration of the disaster zone, it would be easier for officials concerned to seek budgets to help people affected by the wild elephant attacks .
The proposal was made after about 40-50 wild elephants from the Thong Pha Phum National Park invaded villages and plantations in Thong Pha Phum district, particularly in Tambon Tha Khanoon, to forage for food. A unit of defence volunteers has been set up to drive away the elephants. In a recent operation, one of the volunteers was killed and one seriouisly injured by the elephants.
The defence volunteers, with support from officials from the Thong Pha Phum National Park, local administrations, police and military personnel, have conducted patrols for past one month, but they have not been successful in driving away the wild elephants.