KWS to buy hay for wildlife in parks hit hard by drought

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is planning to purchase hay for wildlife in game reserves after the prolonged dry spell. 

KWS said the pasture is diminishing fast, while denying that animals have died due to the drought.

According to Peter Lekeren, the warden in charge of Hells Gate National Park in Naivasha, suppliers will be contacted to bring the hay.

Mr Lekeren also said the agency is currently providing the animals with water at specific points in the park, after water sources dried up.  

“We will start supplying hay to the most affected parks in the country since the ongoing drought has taken a toll on wildlife,” Lekeren said.

“Though the pastures around the park have reduced drastically due to the ongoing harsh weather, no wild animal has died."

Lekeren noted that presently, many pastoralists have invaded parts of the park in search of pasture for their animals.

The result has been escalating cases of human-wildlife conflict.

"Currently we have a  problem with pastoralists who have driven their animals into the southern part of the park. This has reduced the pasture meant for wild animals,” Lekeren said.

Roaming wildlife

Meanwhile, farmers living around Hells Gate and Mt Longonot National Park say there are a lot of wild animals roaming around their homesteads.

Residents say the ongoing dry spell has pushed the wild animals into their homes, a situation that has proved dangerous since the animals can attack them any time..

Adam Mwaura, a resident from Mirera village, said buffaloes, zebras and giraffes have invaded farms destroying crops and water pans.

In the last couple of months, several people have been killed by buffaloes and hippos around the parks and Lake Naivasha.

Last week, a teenager was gored by a buffalo near the lake, while a fisherman was killed by an hippo.