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18 elephants invade villages in Tharaka, destroy crops

Sunday August 25 2019

elephant invasion

Kirimi Kithaka shows his destroyed pawpaw trees in Rukurini village Tharaka South sub county after 18 elephants invaded his farm on August 24, 2019. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Farmers in Mutakiri Location, Tharaka-Nithi County, are counting losses after stray elephants destroyed their crops on Saturday night.

More than 18 jumbos said to have strayed from the neighbouring Meru National Park, destroyed pawpaw, tomato, sugarcane, watermelon and banana farms.

The elephants destroyed Mr Francis Murimi Nyaga’s over two-acre farm

 “I had invested a lot of money on the farm. I expected to sell the produce to raise school fees for my children but now all crops have been destroyed,” said Mr Nyaga.

The jumbos also invaded Mr Duncan Muthengi Nyaga’s mango farm causing a lot of damages.

Mutakiri Chief Emmanuel Njeru Kibunjia told Nation that the elephants were still roaming in the villages.



He said the animals are also likely to interfere with the ongoing census.

Meru National Park Senior Warden Bakari Chongwa promised to have the animals driven back to the park.

He asked residents to remain calm and vigilant to avoid attack.

“I am sending my officers to the villages to make sure the elephants are driven back to the park,” said Mr Chongwa.

He said very soon, human-wildlife conflict will come to an end in the region after the construction of the proposed 36-kilometer electric fence that will cost Sh110 million.

He said the fence will start at Uragate in Tharaka-Nithi County to Kora Bridge in Tana River County.


Mr Chongwa noted that the elephants were leaving the park in search of water and pasture after almost all rivers in the conservancy dried up following drought in the region.

The farmers are now asking government to compensate them for the loss.

Last week, Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources chairperson and the Maara MP, Kareke Mbiuki said government requires Sh5 billion to compensate deaths caused by wild-animals against an allocation of Sh500 million for this financial year.