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