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Mukima residents living in fear of the elephants’ attack

The residents of Mukima village in Laikipia East sub county have called on the government to intervene and contain marauding elephants terrorizing them in the area.

Samuel Muchiri, a resident said the jumbos had been roaming freely in the area destroying private properties and alleged Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has been unresponsive.

Muchiri noted that Mukima, Umande and Daiga are the areas inhabited by the elephants that have left residents camping out most nights in bid to scare them away.

“They have destroyed fences, water tanks and crops, we are worried if it is the elephants that will stay here or us. We are asking the government to help us solve this problem and live in peace,” said Muchiri.

Ms. Ruth Mwaniki said her fence was destroyed and it had become a norm in competing for scarce water resources with the elephants in the area. “Recently, we had ponds with water but elephants have destroyed them; they have terrorized us enough. They have finished everything amid the ravaging drought,” lamented Mwaniki.

She further pointed out that, the Principal Secretary in charge of Wildlife Ms Silvia Museiya this month while on her tour of Laikipia assured them that human-wildlife conflicts will be addressed by drilling boreholes in ranches meant to reduce competition for water between humans and wild animals.

“When the PS was here, she told us that elephants will be contained and also ranchers were told to drill boreholes for them inside their respective ranches,” Mwaniki noted.

They are now threatening to take the law into their own hands unless the government intervenes and amicable solution is found to put an end to the human-wildlife conflict.

Mukima village is not new to human-wildlife conflicts, in September 2021, marauding lions killed four cows and left two people injured.

Laikipia county Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Senior Warden, Rose Malenya in an interview with KNA on Tuesday, said that her office has been on high alert in attending to distress calls on those affected by human-wildlife conflict in the area.

“I would like to clarify that we are responding to cases of human-wildlife conflict in Mukima, every case that has been reported to us we have attended. Further, we have rapid response teams in Umande, Mutili, Mukima and Muramati areas that respond to every case,” clarified the Senior Warden.

Malenya asked residents affected by human-wildlife conflicts to report immediately, a move that will enable them to get compensated for the damages if their cases are genuine.

She noted that the government had approved about 482 human-wildlife conflict claims in Laikipia for compensation amounting to Sh186 million. She asked the claimants to be patient until the disbursement is effected.

“We have received approval of approximately Sh186 million for 482 claims from the Ministry of Wildlife. Those who were affected were asked to bring in their bank details for disbursement,” said Ms Malenya.

The PS for Wildlife when in Umande Ward also said that the government had received over Sh5.7 billion in claims for compensation due to damages attributed to human-wildlife conflicts countrywide. She added that Sh1billion was already set aside to start processing compensation of victims before the end of this month.

By Muturi Mwangi

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