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Government flushes camel herders from Kitui South and Mwingi North Game reserves

Security  agencies  have  flushed camel herders  who had illegally encroached into Kitui South and Mwingi North Game reserves in search  of  water and pasture.

Speaking  on  Thursday  during a hand-over ceremony in Kitui town, outgoing Ag. Kitui County Commissioner, Jackson Ole Chuta  who was  the  Deputy County Commissioner Kitui Central  to  the incoming County Commissioner,  John  Ondego  said the human-wildlife conflict along the porous border had precipitated leading to the death of two people this year.

“During the 2016/2017 conflict along the border between Kitui and Tana River counties, we lost 13 lives as a result of the struggle to control the use of pasture and water for the herders and the host community,” said Ole Chuta.

The administrator said that security agencies in collaboration with wananchi had stepped up surveillance along the border to detect and report any encroachment or forceful entry of camel herders to ensure that no life was lost.

“As a result of the collective responsibility to ensure our border is safe, no case of violent invasion has been reported. Any attempt of the encroachment has been repulsed by security personnel deployed along the porous border,” said Ole Chuta.

On the same score, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has vowed to flush out all camel herders who have invaded Kora and Meru National parks with hundreds of camels.

The  Kora  National  Park  has for years remained the hideout of camel herders once they faced resistance from Kitui, or even sometimes when  they committed crime along the border between Kitui and Tana River counties.

Speaking  to  KNA  at  Kora  National Park, the Chief warden in Charge of Meru and Kora National Parks, Bakari  Chongwa warned farmers who  were grazing their livestock inside the game park and nearby game reserves that they stood to lose when a planned operation to flush  out them kicks off.

Chongwa  said that currently, Kora National Park is facing enormous challenges from the camel herders who have made the national park insecure, owing to the fact that it was in the park that George Adamson started a lion conservancy was killed by armed bandits.

The  warden  urged all farmers from either Kitui or Tana River counties to take off their animals from the park the soonest possible or they would have themselves to blame.

By  Yobesh  Onwong’a

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