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Monkeys invade Gatanga farms

Farmers in Gatanga Sub County, Murang’a are counting losses following continued invasion of their farms by monkeys that destroy crops.

The farmers decry that this increased destruction of their crops by the primates may subject them to famine.

Raising their worries to members of the press on Thursday, the residents from upper parts of the sub county claimed that the monkeys are also invading their homes and taking away cooked foods.

For the last five years, the population of monkeys in the sub county is said to have increased with the residents saying the animals are also posing danger to women and children.

One of the residents, Ngugi Njenga observed that the monkeys are moving in groups of 20 to 30 while invading their farms.

“Once the monkeys invade a farm, don’t expect any yield. They are destroying maize, beans, bananas and even cabbages and kale.

“We are staring at famine since we don’t expect yields from our farms. Our efforts to chase the animals from our farms and homestead have remained futile,” observed Ngugi.

The residents are now appealing to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to come up with the best strategy to chase the animals from the farms.

Ngugi added that the monkeys have almost reduced them to beggars as farmers are unable to engage in any meaningful agricultural activities.

“The monkeys are posing danger to women and children. They only fear men but for us women they don’t run away after we chase,” observed another resident, Veronica Nyambura.

She stated that the primates are even entering houses where they find doors open and are getting away with anything they find edible.

Nyambura further argued it has even become impossible to answer the call of nature at night due to fear of being attacked by the primates.

The area MP Edward Muriu acknowledged the resurgence of the monkey menace saying they have caused immense destruction of farm produce hence the need for an urgent solution.

He said his office together with the KWS have put in resources to rein in the destructive animals whose population has continued to increase rapidly.

“There is need to save farmers from the destructive primates and with KWS, we will put more resources to chase the animals to Aberdare forests. Traps will be stationed at farms to get the monkeys and take them back to forests,” stated Muriu.

By Bernard Munyao

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