The Star

"At Soroko village in Witu, the animals have destroyed at least 30 acres of crops including coconuts, bananas and cashew nuts." /PRAXIDES CHETI
“At Soroko village in Witu, the animals have destroyed at least 30 acres of crops including coconuts, bananas and cashew nuts.” /PRAXIDES CHETI

Residents of Witu ward, Lamu County, are a worried lot as a herd of elephants has been roaming into their farms.

Several cases of human-wildlife conflict have been reported due to drought.

At Soroko village in Witu, the animals have destroyed at least 30 acres of crops including coconuts, bananas and cashew nuts.

Ali Thomo said his Makuti house was trampled down by a herd that drank his livestock’s water.

None of his family members was at home when the elephants wandered in at about midday on Saturday.

On Sunday, the residents asked Kenya Wildlife Service to contain the animals or relocate them to prevent injuries and deaths.

“A group of about five elephants are notorious, Thomo said.

“They raid our village whenever they feel like it. They have destroyed many acres of crops but worse is that they have began attacking homesteads.

“I would be dead if they had raided my house at night. We have tried engaging the KWS on this but nothing much has happened. Maybe they want the elephants to kill someone first.”

The villages accused the service of downplaying their concerns and not taking any actions.

Contacted for comment today, the county’s Senior KWS Warden said he had received reports of elephants straying into villages in Witu.

“We are aware of wildlife that are leaving their habitats in search of water and food due to the drought,” he said, noting the service will dig game moats and fence parks so the animals do not get out.

Mwavita, however, warned the people against farming in forested areas since they are wildlife habitats.

My office has dispatched officers to take care of the Soroko village situation. As we do this, let people stay away from forests and other wildlife habitats.”

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