Invasion of wildlife habitats by humans major cause of conflict in Lamu,...

Invasion of wildlife habitats by humans major cause of conflict in Lamu, says KWS

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An elephant tries to get away from an angry mob. /PHOTO/COURTESY

Lamu, KENYA: The Kenya Wildlife Service-KWS Lamu office has decried the increased human invasion of wildlife habitats and forests in the county.

The KWS says the move has resulted in an overflow of wildlife into human residences since they have nowhere to hide and live after their habitats were cleared for settlement by people.

Speaking in his Lamu office,Lamu county KWS commander Jacob Orale said the ever growing human-wildlife conflicts being currently experienced in the region; were majorly due to the invasion of wildlife habitats by humans.

Orale accused villagers in Pandanguo,Bargoni,Kililana,Mashunduani,Kwasasi and Lake Amu in Mpeketoni of largely invading wildlife habitats in forests and as a result forcing the animals to move out and stray into human zones.

He also said the high influx of livestock from neighboring Tana River,Wajir and Garissa counties to Lamu had led to the drying up of lakes and rivers that were a major source of water for the wildlife.

Orale said his office had written to conservancies in the county to help sink boreholes and put up water pans to be used by wildlife.

“The biggest challenge there is,is the destruction of the environment and especially forests by people. Many herders have basically migrated to Lamu County and that’s a very big problem for us and the wildlife here because many have been displaced from their habitats.people are literally staying in homes belonging to these animals. Thats why we now have a lot of them roaming around human settlements,”said Orale.

He urged locals to desist from occupying wildlife habitats in order to avoid being attacked, killed or injured especially during this drought period continues to ravage.

READ ALSO: Man killed by buffalo in Lamu as human-wildlife conflict intensifies

The chairperson of the committee charged with compensating victims of wildlife attacks in Lamu Ali Shebwana said there was need for proper strategies in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to ensure all those affected are compensated.

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