Human-Wildlife Conflict Escalates in Kitui South, Residents Call on KWS to Intervene

A past photo of a marauding buffalo. (Photo courtesy – Lit Kenya)

Residents of Kitenzele, Kashima, and Kityuwi Village in Kanziku ward in Kitui South are living in fear as wild animals continue to invade their homes.

The residents claimed that elephants and buffalos keep invading their homes. Yet, the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) are not taking the necessary measures to tame them and drive the animals back to Tsavo National park.

The residents further claimed that the wild animals have injured several people yet the National Government is not taking any measures to protect the people from invasion and compensate those injured or their property destroyed.

“Our children are finding it hard to go to school because they fear being attacked on their way to school since most of them travel long distances early in the morning. We are forced to escort them to school, we are finding it hard to concentrate on our daily activities, and we are suffering,” one resident stated.

The residents called upon the National Government through KWS to come on board and save them from the regular attacks of the wild animals to avoid human and wild animals conflict since they might be forced to hunt them and kill them, which is against the law.

They said that the game wardens are reluctant to help them because they take a long time to respond even after the villagers alert them.

“We are suffering because of the wild animals, and the Kenya Wildlife Services doesn’t follow up even after the animals cause harm to us. There was a boy who the buffalo recently injured, and he is at home. No one from the game reserve came to see him,” another resident claimed.

“My three ribs were injured after being hit by a buffalo and I have never got any help from the Government because I’m the one who takes care of myself yet I have children in school who are depending on me thus sometimes I lack money to go to Mutomo Mission hospital, I request the government to help us because we are suffering.” They added.

In January 2021, the Kenya Wildlife Service dispatched a fast reaction team from the Problematic Animal Management Unit (PAMU) in Tsavo to address the escalating incidences of human-wildlife conflict, yet still, the cases have not reduced.

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