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Naibunga residents benefit with a 40-km electric fence

It’s a relief for Naibunga residents in Laikipia North after benefitting with a 30 million electric fence to tame human-wildlife conflict in the area.

The 40-kilometre (km) fence is funded by Italian donors and will shield residents from the marauding elephants and other dangerous wild animals.

Naibunga Conservancy covers 466 km square of Laikipia North sub-county, bordering Isiolo County to the north.

Naibunga is also surrounded by Ol Gaboli lodge, Koija Starbeds, Lewaso Cottages, and Lentile Sanctuary which boost tourism in the area and create employment to locals.

Naibunga community chairperson Kaparo said elephants had been a major threat to many families and school going children in the area, however, with the electric fence, it was a sigh of relief to them.

“This fence surrounds settlement areas and it was an appeal by the community to get the fence since some were being killed by wild animals especially elephants. We have been experiencing a lot of destruction from elephants,” said Kaparo.

With the recent prolonged drought situation in Laikipia, he noted, elephants invaded homesteads in search of pasture and food, hence risking lives of the residents.

He noted, earlier, children skipped attending school due to fear of marauding jumbos and with the fence, they believed that their children will post good academic results this year.

“With the fence, children have been attending schools normally and we expect to record good results for the same,” he noted.

Tom Putonio said that an elephant killed her mother near their homestead back in 2014 and that is when they started an initiative of preventing human-wildlife conflicts in their community.

Mary Nyanduma said elephants had trampled on fences and water tanks as they sought water to drink.

Another resident, urged KWS to drive away one elephant terrorising them within the Naibunga conservancy.

Laikipia North Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) warden Rathima Kolan revealed that since 2000 to date, a total of 15 deaths caused by wildlife and 18 injuries were recorded in Laikipia North.

Naibunga which has nine group ranches of Koija, Il Motiok, Tiemamut, Musul, Nkiloriti, Kijabe, Morupusi, Il Polei and Munishoi, the warden noted human-wildlife conflict had declined since the fence was erected.

“This fence has greatly helped us and I am thankful because as per the data we have, they say, all elephants should be contained within the ranches and not in the community neighbourhoods,” said the warden.

By Muturi Mwangi

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