The Cabinet Secretary (CS), Hon. Peninah Malonza, has yesterday visited Musovo area in Mwingi Central, and Mandongoi in Mwingi North Constituency, both in Kitui County, to assess the damage caused by herds of Elephants roaming in the areas and how to mitigate the human-wildlife conflict.
Speaking during the visits, CS Malonza acknowledged that lack of water is the main reason the elephants are straying from their habitats, and that the Ministry of Tourism, wildlife, Culture, and Heritage is going to dig water pans in strategic areas & truck water using water bowsers for the animals. At the same time, the Ministry will also dig similar water pans for use by the community.
“We must learn to coexist with wild animals and begin to view them as assets. I urge local leaders to start thinking of ways in which communities that co-habit with wildlife can accrue direct benefits from this arrangement. We also need to take care of the environment and our wild animals because climate change is here with us. Therefore, we must learn to co-exist with the wild animals and start to look at them as assets that should be safeguarded for the future generations,” said Malonza.
The CS also added that the Ministry is waiting for the National Treasury to release Kshs. 2.63 billion which will be used for compensation to the human wildlife conflict victims across the country, whose claims have been pending up to February 2022.
“Between 2014 and 2020, 953 claims were lodged by residents of Kitui County. So far, 521claims valued at over Kshs. 200 million have been settled. Another 281 claims valued at over Kshs. 128 Million have been approved and are awaiting funding,” added Malonza.