SURVEILLANCE ENHANCED

Drought to worsen human-wildlife conflict - Met

Animals move out of the wild in search of water and food in human settlements

In Summary

•Public urged not to set fires close to protected areas as animals might exit to human settlements 

•KWS to provide supplementary feeding in critical areas 

Drought situation could worsen, Met warns
Drought situation could worsen, Met warns
Image: FILE

The drought in most parts of the country is likely to increase human-wildlife conflicts.

The Meteorological department has predicted little to no rain in many areas as the drought intensifies.

Consequently, wildlife will be forced to move because of less water and food and enter human settlements.

"It is likely that wildlife will move from their traditional habitats in search of pasture and water, leading to conflict as they come into contact with the public and human activities," a KWS statement says.

Conflict will increase until the country receives rain.

Areas with recent increases in human-wildlife conflict are Narok, Taita Taveta, Laikipia, Kajiado, Meru, Mau, Marsabit, Lamu and the Mt Kenya region.

Last year, the compensation claims from victims of human-wildlife conflict had hit Sh15 billion over five years. 

These are the claims that have been filed through County Wildlife Compensation Committees.

KWS has enhanced surveillance in the meantime to ensure the public is protected from wildlife.

"Foot, vehicle and aerial patrols have been intensified to manage the situation," KWS said.

 

The service will also deliver water and supplementary feeding in critical areas to ensure people and their livelihood are not affected.

KWS urged the public not to set fires close to protected areas.

Fires won't keep the animals away and they will exit to human settlements.

KWS urged the public to contact senior wardens.

In Narok and Mau, residents can call 0736498965. In Taita Taveta they should call.

Laikipia residents can reach call  0723-977342, Kajiado- 0713-472474, Meru-0701-432493 and Marsabit-0721-546490.

Lamu residents can call  0713-899813, Mt Kenya National Park 0721-884554 and Murang’a 0728-820820. 

The Nguruman warden can be reached through 0721-815542 and Samburu residents can call 0733-314443.

KWS Headquarters 24-hour toll-free number is 0800 597 000.

 Residents in areas not listed should contact the nearest KWS office.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)