Star (Kenya)

Rampaging jumbos ruin crops, threaten lives, KWS told

Residents demand compensation, say hungry and thirsty elephants take over catchment areas.

In Summary

• Demand compensation as herds of elephants are destroying their crops and could kill them.

• And there’s a lion prowling around, killing cattle. Lions and buffalo attacked last year, causing several deaths and injuries.

DESTRUCTIVE: Elephants destroy crops.

Image: FILE:

A herd of elephants is terrorising villagers in Kinango, causing massive crop damage and threatening human lives.

Ndavaya residents are urging the Kenya Wildlife Service to contain wild animals before more damage is done in Kwale.

They are demanding compensation.

Resident Salim Omar said on Saturday the elephants are believed to have escaped from the Shimba Hills National Reserve and found their way to the villages in search of food and water.

Omar said if the animals are not confined and driven back, hunger is likely to force them to cause more damage as competition with humans escalates to an alarming level.

“Elephants have been raiding our farms destroying almost everything. They have taken control of water catchment areas. If this persists, we will have nothing to harvest,” Omar said on the phone.

He said the situation has also put at stake the lives of many people who rely on herding and farming activities.

Omar said often villagers are attacked when they have taken their livestock for grazing, saying this is especially dangerous as most families use children as herders.

“The government must pay us for the losses of maize, cassava and other crops that were uprooted,” Luvuno Kamanza said.

KWS officers must act quickly to prevent more disasters, she said.

Meanwhile, KWS officers are pursuing a lion believed to have killed three cows and injured other livestock in Kwale.

KWS community warden Edward Karanja said the lion was last spotted in Shimba Hills in Matuga.

He said the lion is believed to have moved from Vanga in Lunga Lunga. He said  residents raised the alarm after spotting its pawprints.

Karanja urged residents to be cautious and report any information that could lead to its capture.

“During the night, use a torch and if you spot it, don’t physically confront it, just scream from afar and run for help,” Karanja said, adding that KWS officers will respond as fast as possible.

Last year, buffalo and elephants attacked, killed and injured people in Godo, Lunga Lunga constituency