KWS moves to forestall crop losses ahead of jumbo migration
SEE ALSO :Poachers kill rare rhino in NyeriThe migrating jumbos move in families northwards from the Rimoi National Reserve along the border of Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo counties to Turkana South between August to October. The animals cover at least 200km before making a return journey in November and December. The elephants also migrate to Keiyo South where they wreak havoc in farms and endanger the lives of residents in their search for natural salts. Mr Ngalia said the migration is still a subject of research, but observed that the jumbos migrate to neighbouring counties in search of mating partners. The warder said the annual journey can be compared to the wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara.
SEE ALSO :Six feared dead in Hell’s Gate floodsLast year, farmers who had planted crops along the elephants’ migratory route were left counting losses after the animals left their farms bare. The elephants left a swath of destruction in farms in Kowow, Kasugut and Sangach in Marakwet East constituency. Jane Kitum, a banana farmer who nearly lost her entire crop, called on the KWS to take measures to prevent losses this year. “The elephants flattened my banana farm last year. I replanted although I am yet to receive compensation. I am hoping KWS will save me from another loss this year. I lost more than 80 banana plants last year and I hope not to lose this time,” Ms Kitum said. But even as farmers expressed fears of crop losses, the Elgeyo Marakwet County Government said it is planning to position itself to tap into the annual migration to increase the number of local and foreign tourists to the area.
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