Communities in Naivasha have been urged to work closely with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to resolve human -wildlife conflicts caused by prolonged periods of drought.
Emerging climate change effects have also adversely affected the onset of rains in different parts of the country and Naivasha is no exception.
According to a recent report by KWS Director General Brigadier John Waweru, the ongoing drought situation has seen depletion of grazing vegetation for wildlife coupled with scarce water resources within the parks.
The drought has seen increased cases of wild animals seeking refuge away from the parks to neighboring communities in search of water and pastures.
This in return, has led to the communities resorting to harming or killing the roaming wild animals that they say have been causing fear of attacks and wreaking havoc on their farms.
Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Mutua Kisilu is however urging the communities to harmoniously work with local KWS office in order to address the conflicts and desist from taking action into their hands.
Kisilu said the most affected areas include Kihoto estate neighboring Lake Naivasha, Longonot, Ndabibi, Kiambogo and Moi Ndabi.
Kisilu said that he has tasked local administrative units including chiefs and nyumba kumi members to report cases of roaming wildlife animals to KWS to avert any attacks on residents, domestic animals and destruction of crops.
He further asked the communities to seek legal redress to resolve emerging wildlife conflicts even as KWS put in extra efforts to contain the animals within the game reserves including fencing, erecting of water pans in parks among other measures.
Kisilu, however noted that some conflicts have been brought about by residents encroaching on animal reserves and movement corridors particularly around Lake Naivasha which has seen increased hippo attacks.
The DCC assured residents that his office is working with other government agencies in monitoring the situation to inform swift interventions noting that the current state of drought in the area is yet to hit an alarming stage.
Kisilu asked the residens to liaise with neighboring counties of Kiambu and Nyandarua with friendly climatic conditions that have good source of food products and fodder stalk to Naivasha residents in an effort to mitigate the immediate drought situation.
Kisilu expressed concern over absence of the October short rains saying it might escalate the drought situation in the region urging the new Nakuru County administration to deploy informed future plans to mitigate the aftershocks.
By Erastus Gichohi