Standard (Kenya)

By Peterson Githaiga | Published Fri, January 19th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 18th 2018

Residents of Empakasi village in Kitengela at the scene where six lions struck for a second time, killing 15 sheep and goats. [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

Maasai morans plan to storm the Nairobi National Park today in a revenge mission against lions they accuse of killing more than 100 of their domestic animals in a month. The plan comes after six lions that have been terrorising residents of Kitengela struck again on Wednesday night, killing 15 sheep and goats in Empakasi village.

The lions had attacked the same homestead a week ago, killing several animals and leaving many injured. According to Jackson Kaloi, who lost livestock, the six lions attacked the homestead at around midnight. ”We did not sleep the whole night. We tried using vehicles to push the lions back to the Nairobi National Park where they had come from, but they were very violent.” said Mr Kaloi. The revenge attack is expected to begin today. When The Standard team arrived at Kaloi’s home, agitated residents armed with spears and swords had gathered to prepare for the retaliation. “Last week, when 20 of our goats were killed by the lions, we gave the Government seven days to compensate us failing which we would storm the Nairobi National Park and kill wild animals to avenge the loss of our livestock,” said Simon Lila, one of the residents. “That’s what we are planning to do now.” Cool tempers Efforts by James Kiparus, a senior community warden, to cool down the residents’ tempers were futile. ALSO READ: Lions on the loose in Kitengela The warriors are accusing the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) of not doing enough to end the human-wildlife conflict. “Enough is enough. We will not listen to anything coming from the Kenya Wildlife Service. We will continue losing livestock while their wild animals are enjoying themselves in our fields,” said James Turere. The revenge mission opens another front in the human-wildlife conflict in the region. Last weekend, morans in Imbuko location on the border of Amboseli and Tsavo national parks vowed to kill elephants that stray onto farms in the area. They accused KWS of failing to respond promptly.

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12th January 2018

Three lions yesterday killed over 20 sheep and goats at Empakasi village in Kitengela. Jeremiah Kaloi, one of those who lost his livestock, said one lion and its two cubs stormed his home while they were asleep and attacked his animals. ALSO READ: How a bout of ulcers birthed an idea that’s got investor attention “This is not the first time we are losing livestock to marauding lions. We are angry that the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has not compensated us for previous losses despite provisions of the law that we should be paid in the event we lose our livestock to wild animals,” said Kaloi yesterday. He added: “We are giving the government a seven-day ultimatum, to compensate us failure to which we shall storm Nairobi National Park and kill wild animals to avenge loss of our livestock.” Kaloi said the community has been in the limelight for killing lions and that they do not wish to take the same path again. “I was planning to sell the livestock so I can pay school fees for my children. It is unfortunate I have lost them. I am not sure what I will do now that schools are already open. This is a big loss for me,” Kaloi said. Each sheep goes for Sh10, 000 per the current market rates. The incident came as residents demanded that KWS addresses growing cases of human-wildlife conflicts. Under the KWS Act of 2013, livestock owners must be compensated, at the current market rates, for each animal lost in such an attack. This came barely a day after another farmer from a nearby village lost 30 goats in an attack by wild animals. ALSO READ: Cameroon parts ways with Belgian coach Governor Joseph Ole Lenku has previously asked the national government to compensate herders for the death of their livestock. Lenku has accused KWS of protecting wild animals at the expense of residents’ investments and their lives. He noted almost every resident has been affected by wildlife-human conflicts. “I want to state here categorically that if the Kenya Wildlife Service does not compensate our herders for the animals that have been mauled by wild animals, we will mobilise our people to kill all of them and even make others our meal. What is the need of having wild animals which we cannot benefit from?” said Lenku. He noted that national parks within the county generate millions of shillings from tourists but the devolved unit gets nothing in return. “The time has come for the residents to fight back and fight for their rights. The Kenya Wildlife Service is sleeping on the job and does not control wild animals anymore. We will not allow our people to be killed by wild animals we have taken care of for decades,” said Lenku. Immediate response ALSO READ: Lions retain NPCA title: Flawless champions maintain form There was no immediate response from KWS as efforts to contact the agency’s brach manager Paul Githitu were futile. In September, there was an outcry after a stray leopard killed 45 sheep in Kajiado. On Wednesday, a man lost his legs and two others were seriously injured when they were attacked by a herd of hippos in Lake Naivasha in Nakuru. KWS is mandated to conserve and manage Kenya’s wildlife. It is a State corporation established by an Act of Parliament that also has a mandate to enforce related laws and regulations.

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