Jumbo invasion puts pressure on drought-stricken farmers

Jumbo invasion puts pressure on drought-stricken farmers
Jumbo invasion puts pressure on drought-stricken farmers

Africa-Press – Kenya. Residents of the Lorngosua area of Kajiado county are a worried lot after jumbos sustained attacks on their property for the last week. Hundreds of farmers claimed on Saturday that two of the boreholes they have been depending on during the ongoing drought were damaged between Tuesday and Thursday.

The residents also claimed that school-going children must be escorted by morans to the only school in Lorngosua as women are now forced to walk for days to the nearest boreholes to fetch water.

The invasion by the elephants, suspected to be on the move from Amboseli to Kajiado West around Lake Magadi, escalated on Wednesday when they chased an elderly woman back into her house.

On Saturday, the residents called on the Kenya Wildlife Service to relocate the offending elephants into the national parks in Nairobi or Amboseli. They claimed they have been reporting many cases of wildlife invasion to KWS in Kajiado but that no action is taken.

“Our lives are at risk. Our children are not able to attend school because of the elephants. One child and her elderly guardian were almost trampled upon by the jumbos on Wednesday and that’s why we have decided to protest today,” said Julius Kishil.

“It is unfortunate that KWS only acts when grievous harm has been done. Take swift action now before the jumbos kill us,” Ian Mosiany said.

The residents added that despite the losses they incurred due to wildlife invasions they have never had any Corporate Social Responsibility activity by KWS in the area.

“All we encounter here is loss after loss. The elephants curtail our freedom of movement and invade our farms yet we have no single borehole drilled by the organisation, nor has it offered us school bursaries like in other areas,” added Mosiany

The irate residents have vowed to take matters into their hands if the KWS does not take swift action. The county KWS acting warden, Julius Cheruyot apologised to the farmers in Lorngosua, saying the government is doing everything possible to drive the jumbos away.

“The region we are talking about is a wildlife disposal area or in other words, it is a wildlife corridor. We have no control over the movement of these elephants but to provide a safe passage for them,” said Cheruyot on Saturday evening.

The senior KWS official said his officers have started driving the jumbos away and estimate them at about 200. He said during the long droughts wildlife move to residential areas in search of grass and water and their trail can leave a lot of damage.

“We are doing our best to control and moderate the movement of the jumbos to reduce the destruction of property,” said Cheruyot.

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