Farmers agony as elephants destroy crops in Kitui

Kitui residents complain of invasion and destruction of their farms by elephants.  [David Gichuru,Standard]

Farmers in Musovo area of Nguni in Kitui County are calling on the government to compensate them following the invasion and destruction of their farms by elephants.

The irate farmers who estimate their losses to the tune of hundreds of thousands of shillings told The Standard that the jumbos have destroyed their crops just when they were about to harvest green grams, sorghum, cowpeas and millet.

Faith Kagendo said that her 10 acre farm where she had planted green grams, sorghum and other drought resistant crops has been destroyed by the elephants.

“I am worried my children might lack school fees as I have nothing to sell. I have always depended on my farm to educate them,” lamented the mother of seven.

“The elephants have eaten up and destroyed everything. I will not harvest anything this season,” she added. She estimates her loss at Sh400,000. 

Kaa Mutukaa, another farmer, said the elephants have destroyed three of his farms, leaving him poorer. “I do not know how I am going to send my three children back to their schools, the government must compensate us for the loss,” said Mutukaa.

Since 2018, the farmers say they have faced recurrent invasions by the elephants, forcing some of them to relocate. The animals also pose danger to learners going to, or returning from school.

“We live in fear of attack by these animals. Our children are not safe anymore and especially now that schools have reopened,” complained Kagendo while calling on the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to intervene and drive the animals away.

During a recent visit in parts of Mwingi Central and Mwingi North, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza said that KWS will ensure that wild animals are contained within their habitat to control human – wildlife conflict.

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