Bondo residents decry hippo menace

Counties News Siaya Tourism

Residents of Nyangera and Kanyibok villages in West Yimbo location, Bondo sub-county are counting losses after several hippos raided and destroyed crops in their farms.

The residents who spoke to KNA Saturday said about nine hippos grazed on their farms thereby threatening them with reduced harvests this season.

The residents said they are now faced with starvation and have no option but to seek for relief food from the government as an intervention measure.

George Aremo, a resident of Nyangera village said despite raising the issue with Kenya Wildlife Service officers no action had been taken so far.

“The ongoing rains came as a relief to us and we expected to get food crops. However, with the emergence of the hippos menace, this cannot be achieved. We feel demoralized to practice agriculture again,” he said.

They too fear for their lives saying the hippos roam around freely from 6pm with some residents saying they have had close encounters with the animals.

“I cannot leave my home at night because the animals come even to my doorstep and I fear they can even kill my livestock,” said Ouma.

He added that hippos also raided his farm and completely destroyed the crops. He fears that it is only a matter of time before lives are lost due the animals.

In Magare Island, at least 10 goats and five cows have been killed by rogue hippos.

Fredrick Odongo, a victim says that his cow was killed by a hippo, leaving behind a calf with serious injuries.

The residents have called on the government to provide them with relief food to sustain them since they do not expect to record any harvest.

A KWS officer who spoke to KNA on condition of anonymity stated there are only two officers in the entire county thereby making it hard to cover all parts of the county.

“Residents have been reporting cases of wildlife attack but our only challenge is under-staffing, which makes accessing the entire county a challenge,” said the officer.

Last week, a fisherman died in Nyaudenge beach after he was attacked by a hippo.

By Brian Ondeng’

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