Tuko (Kenya)

26 September 2020

by  Tuko.co.ke

Linda Shiundu Monica Wambugha –

The orphans who have been affecte by the elephanst destroying their crops have vowed to spend the night on their farm – This, will happen if nothing will be done to control the elephants invading their crops – They young ones said that was where they got their food from and are willing to fight for it at all costs –

Villagers from Mwambingu said at times they cannot go about their daily activities as the elephants roam freely during the day.

Elephants invaded a farm belonging to Villa 16 Children’s Home in Mwambingu Village, Taita Taveta county and destroyed crops of unknown value leaving the children helpless. The Villa 16 Children’s home is owned by a family that takes care of minors affected or infected with HIV/AIDS and practise farming to pay for the children’s stationery and school fees.

The coordinator of the children’s home Flumence Mshila told TUKO.co.ke the elephants destroyed all the sweet potatoes and tomatoes which he had planted. Mshila was looking forward to selling the produce in order to take care of the financial needs of the children while other crops were to be used for domestic purposes in the children’s home. The caregiver said that it was a big blow to him and the children as they depend solely on farming as a way to sustain them.

He added that the elephants had invaded the farm for the second time in a week. “This is not the first time the elephants have destroyed crops on this farm whenever harvest season draws near,” said Mshila. “Last year I lost watermelons which were ready for sale. I had taken a loan in order to prepare the land for planting. I incurred a huge loss,” added Mshila. According to Mshila, the home hardly depends on donors at least for the children’s food as they do farming throughout the year as a sustainable livelihood to cater .

A section of the farm that was destroyed by the elephanst. Photo: Monica Wambugha. Mwambingu village in Mwatate constituency borders Tsavo West National Park where the elephants trespass from time to time especially when the electric fence is destroyed. Mshila said the electric fence was not functioning and that efforts to call out on Kenya Wildlife Service officials had remained futile. “Since the elephants destroyed crops on this farm, I have never been compensated for the losses I incurred. I have been left so devastated, I don’t know what to do, said Mshila.

Visible elephant footprints could be seen on the farm and only a handful of crops that were left after the elephants destroyed the crops on the night of Tuesday, September 22. Adelina Dali, a caregiver at the Villa 16 orphanage said the children had to be fed a well-balanced diet, which is why it is very unfortunate that the food they depend on had been destroyed. “Other than making sure the minors take their medication on time, diet is essential for their well-being especially fruits and vegetables. We appeal to KWS to try and keep off the elephants from our farms,” said Mshila. Some of the food crops that were destroyed by the elephants.

The orphans have vowed to spend the night on their farm if nothing will be done to control the elephants invading their crops, oblivious of the danger of being attacked by the elephants. They said that was where they got their food from and are willing to fight for it at all costs. Villagers from Mwambingu said that at times they cannot go about their daily activities as the elephants roam freely during the day.

They said when the stray elephants invade their farms during the day, school-going children and also teachers fail to make it to school and have to stay indoors. “Even as we prepare for the planting season we are not sure if we are going to harvest our food lest elephants destroy them all,” said Kubo Mwaisaka, a resident of Mwambingu. “Here we only depend on farming as our source of income although it is being threatened by the existence of stray elephants,” added Kubo. Read more: https://www.tuko.co.ke/381967-children-taita-taveta-orphanage-stare-hunger-elephants-invade-farm-destroy-food-crops.html