Director faults human activities for human-wildlife conflict


Residents neighbouring Imenti forest area have been faulted for encouraging human-wildlife conflict as a result of their activities in habitats meant for wildlife.
Speaking to the media at Mbeu, Meru Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) Director Francis Kirimi said human-wildlife conflict cases were on an upward trend in the recent past resulting in destruction of crops by wildlife.
Kirimi said the public was only interested in benefiting from harvesting forest products without considering that it was a natural habitat and a right for wildlife to live in forests without any form of disturbance or provocation.
He noted that many people given the opportunity to benefit from the government approved shamba system under the supervision of Kenya Forest Services were no longer keen on increasing forest cover in their parcels.
The Director noted that as much as the government remained committed to reinforcing the fencing, most parts of the forest had very little for the animals to feed on, adding that containing hungry wildlife within the limitations was a tall order.
Kirimi cited the need for the national and county government to initiate public sensitization activities on the importance of human beings keeping away from forest areas so as to allow wildlife to peacefully remain in their natural residence.
He however admitted that incidents of human-wildlife conflict in the region were making it difficult for the government to promptly avail funds for compensation on completion of the necessary investigations among other procedures.
“We have been recording many human-wildlife conflict cases in the recent past but several cases in need of compensation have not been finalized as efficiently as was expected and should be in line with the law,” Kirimi said.
By Makaa Margaret

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