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KWS given ultimatum over elephant invasion

Sunday December 30 2018


Taita Taveta Woman Representative Lydia Haika. She wants stray elephants driven out of locals' farms. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Taita Taveta leaders have given the Kenya Wildlife Service a one-week ultimatum to drive out elephants that have invaded farms in Sagalla.

Woman Representative Lydia Haika and Sagalla MCA Godwin Kilele said the more than 400 elephants have made the lives of residents unbearable.

"We have given them seven days to get the stray elephants out of Sagalla. It’s very unfortunate that they are taking their time to do their work yet our lives are in danger," Mr Kilele said.

Ms Haika said human-wildlife confrontations are highly likely to occur, adding that past victims have not yet been compensated by the agency.

"The delay is annoying because it seems like the government does not care about the lives of its citizens," she said.



Further, she advised the KWS to open up about the challenges that hinder it from dispensing its mandate.

"As elected leaders we can see how to help them. I can even arrange for a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta," she said.

Speaking to the Nation, Senator Jones Mwaruma said he sponsored a motion in the House directing KWS to compensate victims within 90 days after an application is made.

"I successfully sponsored the motion and already the clerk has written to the Wildlife and the Finance principal secretaries to set aside funds for compensation in the next financial year," he said.


The elephants are migrating from Mkomanzi National Park in Tanzania to Tsavo East National Park, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Recently, a herd of jumbos destroyed a house at Mwakoma village, Sagalla, where a woman and her three children were sleeping.

Consequently on Friday, the residents matched to KWS community offices in Voi to lodge their complaints.

"We were here last year demanding action to be taken. Unfortunately, we are here today protesting over the same issue. We are being lied to every time," Mr Alfred Mwasi said.

KWS community warden Zainab Salim said officers from the Problem Animal Management Unit had been deployed to address the problem.

"We will do more to ensure that we finish this operation immediately," she said.

She said they have processed over 1,500 compensation claims since 2014 and forwarded them to Treasury for funding.