The Laikipia County government has ruled out translocation of elephants from Rumuruti Forest as a way of ending human-wildlife conflicts.
Governor Ndiritu Muriithi while turning down a request from the farming community to have the elephants moved out of the area said the animals were valuable natural resource for the county and could be a direct source of income to the community.
Mr Muriithi challenged the community to invest in campsites and canopy walks where visitors would be charged a fee to see the jumbos.
The governor said his administration would support such investments from the County Enterprise Fund which has Sh50 million to lend to entrepreneurs.
“The major issue with the residents is that these elephants do not benefit them. We must come up with ways of how we can benefit from these animals. If people start earning something from the elephants, then the animals will stop being loathed,” he said.
Governor Muriithi spoke at Gatundia, Kapkures and Riron villages when he handed over materials worth Sh4.2 million for repair of an electric fence built 10 years ago.
He agreed with farmers who border Marmanet and Rumuruti forests that elephant population had increased leading to conflicts but relocating them would not be a long lasting solution.
He said the Kenya Wildlife Service will soon embark on the construction of a stronger fence that will prevent the animal from straying from their habitat.