By Abdi Hussein
Farmers in Kajiado Central Subcounty, Kajiado County,are up in arms over the massive destruction of their crops by a herd of roaming elephants.
In the last two weeks, these wild animals have been traversing several villages in Kajiado central Sub County known for agri business including Maili Tisa and Koitiko destroying crops worth Millions to the chagrin of farmers.
Hundreds acres of maize plantation,cabbage,Melon, variety of fruits and other farm produce is said to have been destroyed.
Also they are said to have destroyed several communal and private water projects amid causing panic among residents prompting locals to stage a peaceful protest yesterday.
The more than 10 animals are often spotted during the day roaming within residential areas risking lives.
Mr Moses Rianto said he has lost farm produce worth sh 1 million in his two acre piece of land in the last two weeks despite continuous alerts to Kenya WildLife services(KWS) officers to intervene.
“Covid 19 pandemic pushed me from town to the village and I begun agri business to earn my daily bread.Elephants has now destroyed my crops before I begun harvesting.We have always co existed with wild animals but it is becoming untenable,”Said dejected Mr Rianto.
Dozens of farmers are now seeking compensation from KWS citing laxity in protecting them and their properties to minimise the escalating Human wildlife conflict in Kajiado county.
They are urging KWS to relocate the animals to public game reserves lest they reiterate by attacking and killing the animals.
“Let KWS compensate us and relocate the elephants to public game reserves.We may be forced to kill the animals to protect ourselves,”said Joshua Toret
Kajiado South,East and Central subcounties bear the major brunt of human wildlife conflict.The region borders Amboseli National Park and several private wildlife sanctuaries.
In June 2019,three people were killed by marauding elephants in Mashuru Sub County.In May 2020 KWS was forced to sedate and relocate three Male Jumbos that had strayed into Kitengela residential areas using trucks.
KWS assistant director Kenana Lekishon had blamed human settlement blockage to wildlife migratory routes prompting wildlife to stray to residential areas.
According to a KWS source, 23 people have so far been killed by wildlife in the County since 2012. More than 134 people have suffered from serious and life changing injuries while more than 1,000 livestock have been killed, properties destroying amounting to more than 200M.
The KWS officer in charge of Kajiado County was not available for a comment.