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Govt unveils plan to curb human-wildlife conflict

19 June 2013, 15:58 John Kioko

By John Kioko

The government has unveiled plans to stop human wildlife conflicts in
Shimba Hills National park in Kwale county, a government officer has

Digging of 10 kilometers trench from the park is among other plans
which the government will put in place to reduce the issue of wildlife
destroying crops in farms and harming locals staying in the region
according to Kwale county commissioner Evans Achoki.

Achoki admitted that human -wildlife conflicts have been increasing
and a major problem in the area which needed urgent solution.

Speaking in his office yesterday Achoki said that the government is
planning to dig a 10 kilometers trench from the forest to serve as a
buffer zone between farmers and the National park which houses wild

"The trench will be dug in areas which are not fenced and we are sure
that the issue of elephants and other wildlife animals terrorizing
locals will not be there any more," he said.

He said they are expecting KES 5 M to start the project which they
have already proposed to Kenya Wildlife Service who have not yet
approved their proposal.

If the funds are availed Achoki noted that they will use youths in the
area to help digging the trench.

The county commissioner noted that farmers in the area are really
suffering because their food and cash crops are always destroyed by
the animals and especially Jumbos and buffaloes.

Strengthening of the current fence which has been destroyed by the
rogue animals,Achoki said that will be another plan which according to
him will make sure that the issue is addressed once and for all.

"I just want to assure to locals in Kwale county and farmers along
Shimba Hills National Park that we are concerned with the way they are
always terrorized by wild animals and for that reason we are coming up
with this plans to solve the issue," he added.

Locals in the area have continued complaining to the government to
address the issue which have caused them to incur losses after their
crops are destroyed by animals every planting season.

They always live in fear because the wild animals move from village to
village especially at night and some years back deaths people killed
by elephants were reported.

If the governments' plans will be successful locals in the area will
have a sigh of relief from what they have been going through for
decades now with no permanent action being taken according to Harrison
Chaka one of the locals.


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