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Farmers Demand Mau Forest Fencing for Elephants


Hundreds of farmers living along the Mau-Forest border at Kaplamboi Sub-location in Kipkelion East Sub-County, Kericho County, have urged the national government to consider erecting an electric fence along the border point at Mau-Forest to repulse the rogue elephants that invade their farms often.

The farmers, who are now counting losses, lamented that Monday night a herd of eleven elephants went on a rampage in the village, destroying maize crops, banana plantations, and vegetables as they struggled every night to chase them back to the forest.

An elephant invades Kaplamboi village in Chepsir, Kercicho County on Tuesday morning destroying plantations. Photo by Eline Chepkirui

Speaking to Kenya News Agency Elijah Mutai, a farmer in Chepsir, Kapkatunga village, said that the Kenya Wildlife Service has already issued the affected farmers with forms to fill out to be compensated for the losses they incurred; however, he said the lasting solution will be fencing off the Mau Forest.

“I have not reaped any benefit from my farm for the last two years due to the elephants’ invasion and that is why we need a permanent solution. We have held a meeting as villagers and will present a written petition to the Kenya Wildlife Service for them to fence Mau Forest,” said Mutai.

At the same time, Kaplamboi Sub-Location Assistant Chief Juliana Koech confirmed that for the last month, the marauding mammoths have regularly invaded the village day and night. This situation, she said, could get out of hand after eleven elephants sneaked out of the forest to the village.

“Panic has gripped the village now and we fear for our lives. We hope the Kenya Wildlife Service will remove the wild animals and move them away from the village,” added Ms. Koech.

The Assistant Chief also said at times school-going children miss classes due to fear of being attacked by the wild animals which are regularly spotted in the village from as early as 6 a.m. and in the afternoon hours from 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Kericho County Warden Mr. Paul Sigilai, said the KWS wardens had been deployed to the area both day and night to deal with the human-wildlife conflict which he said was rampant in August and September as the jumbo animals maraud around looking for food.

“We are doing our level best to ensure the safety of residents and we will for sure support the idea of fencing the Mau Forest part where the elephants sneak through, and by doing so, we will have saved the lives of people and conserved our elephants in Mau Forest,” said Mr. Sigilai.

He urged the area residents to cooperate with the KWS Wardens on the ground in dealing with the elephant menace, which he was optimistic would soon be resolved.

Source: Kenya News

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