In recent weeks a herd of wild elephants, which migrated to Bandhavgarh just over 2 years ago, caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to the solar panels which drive the borewell pumps at 2 of our waterhole sites. With the drought season almost upon us, there is just over a weeks worth of water in the waterholes so we urgently need to replace the solar panels so we can pump underground water to the surface. We also need to put new measures in place to prevent recurrences of the damage
The wild elephants have damaged 4 solar panels irreparably and these need to be replaced with new panels. The fences which surrounded the solar pump systems at 2 sites have also been destroyed so need replacing. Without these urgent repairs/replacement panels the solar pumps with not function and the waterholes will be dry within 10 days. If we cannot fill the waterholes, wildlife will enter the villages in search of water and thus human-wildlife conflict will increase leading to animal deaths
Replacing the broken solar panels with new ones will enable underground water to be pumped to the surface again, which will mean that wild animals will not have to go into the villages in search of drinking water, thus human-wildlife conflict for this reason will be mitigated. In addition, we plan to erect elephant proof fencing around the solar pump to prevent future elephant damage. We are exploring options to use chilli fences and beehive fences as deterrents, but we need to fund these too.
The lives of thousands of wild animals including 100+ wild tigers will be saved by the year round availability of water. It will reduce human-animal conflict & will contribute to the conservation of the tigers' environment, sustainability through ecologically focused actions. Using chilli & beehive deterrents around solar waterhole sites will provide an insight into the long term effectiveness of the solution for reducing human-elephant conflict around the villages where crops have been raided