Residents of Miondoni area in Mwala sub-county of Machakos have urged the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to move with haste and save them from a herd of seven hippos terrorizing them.
According to the residents, the hippos routinely invaded their farms to seek out food leading to the small scale farmers incurring huge losses to their crops.
The residents have also decried the lethargic compensation process which they claim discourages them from reporting such cases to KWS.
“The government should speed up the erection of an electric fence along river Athi to protect our crops from the rampaging beasts,” said Mutuku Mumo.
Speaking in his office on Wednesday, the Machakos KWS Warden, David Kaindi said they were working with several partners and Non-Governmental Organizations to look into the possibility of erecting an electric fence.
“It is true that the hippos are destroying the farmers crops but the farmers themselves are partly responsible for this problem, they are farming too close to the river without leaving some space for these beasts to feed,” said Kaindi.
Kandi urged the residents to consider diversifying to other income generating activities such as the hospitality industry which can bring in more profits than traditional farming.
He further called on the residents living close to the river to consider leaving some riparian space preferably 30 metres from the river bank to allow the hippos to feed in peace.
By Rachael Kilonzo /Stella Mbula