July 23, 2024

Ganze Residents in Fear After Marauding Jumbo Killed One Person

Marauding Elephant (Photo / Courtesy)

By Kalama Mshomi

Email, thecoastnewspaper@gmail.com

Ganze residents of Kilifi County have appealed to the government to erect an electric fence to stop human-wild conflict at Tsavo East National Park.

Caught up in a catch-22 situation, residents do not know how to deal with invading jumbos that are causing havoc on their farms and have already killed one person to date.

This comes in the wake of the marauding elephants’ invasion of Mrya-Chakwe, a remote village within Ganze where one of wild animals killed a man whose body still laying at Kilifi Teaching and Referal Hospital morgue.

According to the residents they have been conflicting with wildlife for the past four years, thus, destroying their livelihoods and rendering them in perpetual poverty.

Eunice Shungu, an agri-business farmer, told journalists on July 8, 2024, they have been incurring losses from a project worth Ksh300,000 after one-and-half acres of cassava was destroyed.

“Following this unfortunate incident, my husband and I don’t know what to do. We had a client who had already paid us Ksh50,000 up front, and the cassava was to be harvested at the end of this month (July),” she said.

Ms Kafedha Kazungu Maitha, a resident of Jitume village, said the wild have made their lives ‘hell on earth’ saying her farm has been turned into elephants grazing field.

“I planted cassava in my farm and on three occasions it has been destroyed. I reported my case to Kenya Wildlife Service which assessed the damages. I was told to visit the office at Arabuko Sokoke to fill a certain form, but I cannot afford the fare to reach there,” she said.

Kilifi County Assembly Speaker Teddy Mwambire, who is from the area said farm produce worth over Ksh4 million has been lost through the wildlife.

“On Wednesday last week, my herdsman had to run for his life at around 9 a.m when he met the elephants one-on-one, while looking after the cattle. This experience is not a joke,” he said.

He asked the government to ensure every citizen and their property were safe from wildlife destructions.

The wildlife conflict has had an adverse effects on schooling in the subcounty where pupils are currently forced to change their reporting and departing time from learning stations.

Parents, living in worry and anxiety, have asked the government and KWS to intervene and come to their aid by controlling the straying wildlife out of the park to not only terrorise them, but also destroy their property.

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