Star (Kenya)

Kick out stray jumbos or we’ll do so, KWS told

Photo caption: Mwingi central MP Gideon Mulyungi speaking at Ukasi market in Mwingi central constituency./Lydia Ngoolo.
Photo caption: Mwingi central MP Gideon Mulyungi speaking at Ukasi market in Mwingi central constituency./Lydia Ngoolo.

LYDIA NGOOLO/ Mwingi residents will forcefully drive away elephants that have strayed in villages if the Kenya Wildlife Service fails to do so, Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi has said.

Elephants have strayed into Ukasi and Ngomeni villages.  KWS has previously chased away the animals but they often return to villages after the helicopters go silent. The MP said villagers cannot live with the animals.

“Residents will take the law into their own hands and chase away the elephants through any possible means,” Mulyungi said.

He said the animals have stayed in the villagers for too long. The elephants have injured people and destroyed crops. “We don’t know whether KWS is waiting for a person to be killed before they act. They have to be serious,” the MP said.

The elephants invaded farms in April and have since destroyed crops, including watermelon and greengrams.

Mulyungi said he has raised the matter with KWS officers and even Tourism CS Najib Balala. “It seems that all have been defeated,” he said.

Resident Musya Kyalo said the elephants strayed from Kora and Tsavo national parks. He said most people live in fear of attack by the beasts. “It is either KWS chases them away or residents will do so,” Kyalo said.

In 2014, a pupil was killed by a stray elephant in Ngaaie in a morning attack on his way to school.

Even then, the elephants had stayed in the village for long with KWS acting after the tragedy, Kyalo said.