Murang’a, Tuesday, February 21, 2018 KNA By: Bernard Munyao
Farmers in Murang’a County have armed themselves with traps to catch marauding monkeys which have been wreaking havoc on their farms.
The farmers with support from the county government are trapping the primates and returning them to Aberdare forests in effort to safeguard their crops.
In Gatanga Sub County, between Monday and Tuesday the farmers were able to trap more than 100 monkeys and repatriated them to the forests.
The county governor Mwangi wa Iria in the recent past had promised to help farmers in trapping the animals which have been destroying crops.
The county government has issued more than 300 traps and engaged youths to traps the monkeys from farms.
Farmers have decried how the animals have reduced them to beggars after they destroyed crops and fruits in farms.
One of the farmers from Gatang’a Mr. Paul Ndungu recounted how he has been unable to harvest anything from his farms due to massive destruction occasioned by the monkeys.
“The population of the monkeys has gone up and they are destroying every crop including maize, avocadoes, and vegetables among others. The traps are helping us to reduce the number of the monkeys,” noted Ndungu.
The farmer narrated that the monkeys are also getting into their houses and consuming food they come into contact.
The exercise of trapping the animals is supposed to be done in all sub counties with the county government providing vehicles to take the trapped monkeys to forests.
Gatang’a sub county administrator Mr. George Murimi on Tuesday told the media that the local government is just helping farmers to remove the animals from their farmers.
The monkeys, Murimi said are threat to food security as they are destroying all crops grown by the farmers.
“The county government has been giving out seeds, fertilizer and chemicals to farmers but it’s unfortunate that the animals are destroying the crops even before maturity time,” added Murimi.
Another farmer, Anastasia Muure reflected how the primates have posed threat especially to women saying they are scared to attend farm work as the monkeys are ready to attack them.
“For us women we can’t go to our farms as the monkeys tend to attack women. We must be accompanied by a male or else the animals will chase us,” noted the farmer.
Towards the end of last year , a nurse in Murang’a county referral hospital was attacked while she was on duty by a monkey forcing her to be admitted for several weeks.
The monkeys are also said to have been attacking livestock with residents accusing Kenya wildlife Service of taking long time before taming the primates.
The exercise of trapping the primates have sparked heated debate among Murang’a residents with some castigating the county government of neglecting major projects and giving the monkey issue priority.