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Food and Water for Odisha's Distraught Elephants

Development is rapidly dwindling Odisha's forests, forcing elephants to enter villages/cropland and cross roads for food and water. This has increased human-elephant conflict and elephant deaths from vehicle collisions. This project will restore degraded habitats by cultivating favored elephant plant species and creating waterholes within elephant habitats. Local community members will be trained and employed to run the project.


In partnership with

Food and Water for Odisha Elephants
Waterhole at the Jurki-Raipal-Sarisua intersection in the Balasore range

Waterhole at the Jurki-Raipal-Sarisua intersection in the Balasore range

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Waterhole at Bhagabandh-Sarisua-Kaptipada range

Waterhole at Bhagabandh-Sarisua-Kaptipada range

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Several waterholes have been created at the trijunction of Balasore, Baripada, and Hardgarh in Odisha that serves as a critical habitat for elephants. The site is frequented by a herd of elephants, indicating that it holds significance for them. During the construction of waterholes, elephants continued to visit the area, leaving behind their footprints.

This trijunction likely boasts diverse ecological features, including a wide variety of vegetation and topography, contributing to the rich biodiversity and abundance of resources, making it an attractive habitat for elephants. VFAE partnered with a grassroots organization in Odisha - Paribartan - to implement this critical project.

The ground will be prepared to plant approximately 20,000 saplings and design 8-10 waterholes in the Pallahara and Balasore range well before the rainy season, by mid-July. Thanks to our generous donors for their ongoing support to help us provide basic survival needs to these beleaguered elephants.

As the harsh summer envelops vast regions of India, with temperatures soaring up to 45 degrees Celsius or 113 Fahrenheit, water sources are drying up, pushing elephants out of the forests and into the villages, intensifying human elephant conflict, and leading to tragedies. By providing enough food and water resources inside the forests, elephants will hopefully remain inside the forests.

More than 80% of elephant habitats have been lost to reckless development to sustain humans - with the population in India at 1.41 billion as of this year, surpassing China, and earning the top spot for an overcrowded country.

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