Friday January 4th, 2019
Thakurdwara, Bardiya District, Southwest Nepal
Unfortunately, due to some drawbacks we could not manage to fully finish the fence. These drawbacks, mostly practical, were due to the fact that positioning and installing the solar panels took longer than expected, as well as installing the cameras turned out to be more challenging. A safety box was needed to be installed, as the wires, machines and energizer have to be elephant-, rat- and humanproof. Luckily this is doable, but was not in a short period of time. This led to the fact that it was not manageable to finish before the end of December.
Namely, in the end of December the work was put down for two weeks, in which we travelled to Pokhara to see more of the beautiful country that Nepal is. We visited both Pokhara and the Annapurna and we highly recommend to visit these places as well, if you have the time! In these weeks we recharged our batteries and spending a very special Christmas and New Year’s Eve, we are now in full spirit to finish the project the coming month! Here, in Bardiya National Park, we have now started with rebuilding the fence on the first test site. As in that way the elephants in the park will still be monitored when they pass the first test site, and hopefully they will try to break through the fence (and fail obviously). Our most important job the upcoming month is in Geruwa, where we will travel to in 2 or 3 days. By finishing the fence and focussing more on the educational part there is much to gain. Moreover, chances are high that we will give a presentation to several district responsibles. They watch our moves closely, as the project tis used as a pilot to see whether a sustainable solution can be found for the human-elephant conflict. As known, that conflict is causing problems all around the Terai, the lower part of Nepal. With that presentation, a successful fence can be implemented quickly in the rest of the Terai.
All in all there is a lot to do the coming month! Finishing the fence, continuing with the awareness and educational part and even the before mentioned possible implementation we have a lot to do. Our wonderful stay in Pokhara gave us sufficient energy and we have complete trust in a successful result of the project!
Flip, Thomas & Wessel