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Marauding jumbos wreak havoc in Laikipia

09 May 2014, 14:01 James Kabotia

Laikipia - Farmers in different areas within Laikipia County have decried wanton destruction of their crops by marauding elephants.

In the last two weeks, the animals said to be from Ol Pejeta conservancy have destroyed hundreds of acres of vegetation, leaving farmers without hope of harvesting.

A herd of twenty jumbos have destroyed crops in Tigithi division of Laikipia Central district, where they are said to invade the farms as early as 6pm and leaving at dawn.

“We have tried to inform the management of the conservancy and the Kenya Wildlife Service to contain the animals but we have not gotten any help,” Ann Wangare, a farmer at Ngobit location lamented.

In Endana area within Laikipia East district, a similar number of jumbos are terrorizing farmers causing huge losses.

On Thursday, Segera ward representative Charubo Kaparo said the residents are living in fear of attacks by the animals.

“Residents have for the last two weeks spent the nights outside trying to chase the animals away. It is very dangerous because they can easily be attacked by the animals,” said Kaparo.

Laikipia County is an arid region where most of the farmers rely on irrigation. Most residents also rely on relief food from the government and other donor agencies like Calitus and World Food Program and thus such destruction of crops can leave a serious crisis in the area.

Contacted, County KWS Senior Warden Richard Chepkwony said his officers are working closely with the management of the conservancy to repair an electric wire at the ranch that was destroyed by herders thereby enabling the elephants to gain access to the farms. He assured the farmers that no more damage will be witnessed.

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