Women in Meghalaya village guard solar-powered fences against wild elephants

Women in Meghalaya village guard solar-powered fences against wild elephants

In Borogobal, Meghalaya, women have taken charge of a solar-powered electric fence to protect their village from frequent wild elephant raids, bringing safety and empowerment to the community.

Representational Image Representational Image

A group of women in the remote village of Borogobal, West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, have taken the responsibility of guarding a 1.2 km solar-powered electric fence installed to protect their hamlet from wild elephant raids.

Formed into a Solar Fence Management Committee, these women were trained by the NGO Aaranyak on operating and maintaining the fragile fence - the village's only protection against elephants that frequently invaded after dusk, disrupting normal life.

Their dedication has already proven lifesaving. During a recent elephant intrusion, a committee member's quick thinking in activating the power supply averted a potential tragedy. The fence has brought much-needed peace, allowing the village's 24 households to go about their daily routines without fear, even after sunset - a luxury they were once deprived of.  

The solar fence has not only protected Borogobal but also empowered its women, fostering confidence. The committee's treasurer efficiently collects a modest Rs 50 per household every month for fence maintenance. Some women have even learned to carry out minor repairs themselves.

The installation by Aaranyak and the British Asian Trust, with support from the Darwin Initiative, has transformed this once sleepy hamlet that lived under the constant threat of wild elephants. 

Edited By: Aparmita
Published On: Jun 16, 2024