Introducing a sustainable solution for the Human Elephant Conflict; project “Citrus Elephas” conducted by the Rotaract Club

After its initial approach to the project in 2019, the “Rotaract Club” of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University was a part of the project “Citrus Elephas” for the second time. The project was conducted with the collaboration of the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society with the ultimate goal of introducing a sustainable solution for the Human-Elephant Conflict. Following the initial research carried out by Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, growing tall barriers of a citrus variety called “Bibile” sweet around rice crops, vegetable crops and even residential areas, was found to be a remedy for the rural Sri Lankan farmers to create a effective elephant deterrent whilst providing new income for them.

Having conducted the first phase of the project as a social media campaign for almost two months, to spread knowledge and raise awareness, the second phase of the project was to plant trees at Wasgamuwa on 23rd March 2021 under the supervision of the Vice Chancellor of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University. This was carried out with a participation of 30 Rotaractors from KDU as well as with the presence of the staff advisors of the Rotaract Club of KDU; to serve the community in the best way possible, whilst adhering to all COVID-19 safety meassures.

With the symbolic event of the donation ceremony taken place, it was the undying efforts of all Rotaractors of the club that led to the success of the project with the distribution of 1000 the “Bibile” sweet plants and necessary irrigation items to the farmers of the village Raddunvewa. Being a reason to end Human-Elephant Conflict by preserving the gentle giants and also providing an income for the livelihoods; the project was concluded living up to its aim of “from a history of conflict to a future of co-existence”; also with a firm belief the club will conduct further projects from this initiative under the consistent guidance of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University.