Farmers decry foul over jumbo attacks
20 August 2012, 05:17
Famers of Mutirithi Village at Segera location in Laikipia East are decrying foul over massive elephant destruction of their crops, now that they are just about to have a booming harvest due to the current heavy down pour.
They claim that elephants have given them sleepless nights since last week saying that all their hard work in farming is drawn to waste yet they are striving hard to show the Kenyan government that they can be self reliant by not seeking relief food.
One of them John Kamande told the press in his 3 acre farm that he produces more than 30 bags of maize in a good harvest but the current elephant attacks are posing a huge loss to him.
Kamande said that he tirelessly wrestled with the jumbos in his farm the whole of last week from 8pm to 4am in the morning. He added that during last year’s harvest season, elephants fed on all of his produce leaving him without food.
“These animals almost killed me last week as I tried to chase them from my farm. They are forcefully feeding in my crops yet this is not a game park”, said the irate Kamande.
The jumbos which emanates from nearby ranches have almost cleared maize plantation of a 90-year-old Rose Nyambura who lives alone in her homestead.
The old granny has no energy to fight or chase the destructive animals from her farm but only prays that the Kenya Wildlife Service will come to her rescue and defend her from any further attacks.
Segera ward councilor Jane Wanjugu said that the elephants are getting the lion’s share from the hapless farmers.
The councilor who was accompanied by the Laikipia East Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairlady Hellen Kurutu appealed to the KWS team to camp at the Naibor Stock-theft unit so as to curb this escalating human-wildlife conflict.
Kurutu urged all the stakeholders involved in wildlife conservation to come on board so as to find a solution to the problem and avoid further conflict.
The Segera farmers are shifting blame to the KWS officials saying that they have been sleeping on their job.
They claim that the KWS officers have been taking a long time to respond to their calls when the jumbos attack them at night.
“When an elephant is butchered, they hurriedly rush to the scene but when we suffer of elephant attacks, they take centuries to avail themselves”, said John Thiga, one of the farmers.
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