In Assam and Sri Lanka some tea estates border rainforests and areas of natural beauty. Tea workers frequently encounter roaming elephants and other wild animals, which can be dangerous situations. Asian elephants have been known to cause damage to crops, worker housing, food storage units, and in extreme cases have seriously injured or killed workers. In turn elephants suffer from stress due to migratory routes and foraging sites being disrupted. There have also instances of them being trapped in drainage ditches, poisoned by agrochemicals, and scared, injured, or killed in retaliatory attacks.
How we helped
To address these problems we partnered with the Nature Conservation Foundation and ran workshops aimed at training tea workers on ways to avoid and mitigate risk.
The training provided workers and management with an overview of elephant conservation and provided practical solutions to avert the threat of wild elephants:
- Removal of fences from migratory routes and setting aside areas of natural vegetation for them to eat
- Installation of early warning trip wire systems to alert workers to approaching animals and potentially dangerous situations
- Demonstrations what to do when confronted by elephants
- Changing food storage patterns
- Advice on insurance schemes for property and workers