By Pascal Mwandambo
Unless the Government comes up with management policies to save the 21,000 square kilometres game park, it is just a matter of time before the park goes the way of Amboseli which is also on the verge ecological disaster.
One of the major factors precipitating a crisis in Tsavo is the twin problem of livestock incursion into the park and illegal grazing.
Voi District senior warden Mercy Boit decried the problem of the incursion of illegal livestock into the park but said KWS security forces had been mobilised to deal with the menace.
“Sometimes we have had to use helicopters from our headquarters in Nairobi to help in driving the illegal herders out of Tsavo,” the KWS officer noted.
The daily trampling of the park by both livestock and wildlife has led to the suppression of vegetation growth while there are fears of livestock diseases being transmitted to wild animals and vice versa.
“I was very shocked recently when I took my visitors to Tsavo West when we encountered hundreds of livestock about 20 kilometres inside the park. We were left wondering whether we were inside a game conservancy or a ranch,” said Davide Gremmo, an Italian investor who runs Lualenyi Camp outside Tsavo.
Gremmo said the Government and KWS should drive out the livestock out of Tsavo to save the wildlife conservancy from an ecological crisis. He said the livestock are competing unfavourably with game for water and pastures.
“Concerted efforts are needed to address the problem of livestock in the park and illegal grazing which contribute to the escalating human/ wildlife conflicts,” said Gremmo.