HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT; THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE

Posted: June 21, 2012 in Politics/Current issues

The human and wildlife conflict took a very bizarre twist in Kitengela, Nairobi the other day. This was after angry residents killed six lions which had been alleged to have killed and mauled 28 sheep and goats. The lions are said to have come from the Nairobi National park which borders the area.

The images of the dead lions appearing on our home television screens clearly showed the wrath with which the residents committed these barbaric acts. Even as this happened, so many questions remain lingering through the minds of Kenyans over the security of Kenyans living closer to national parks.  How these wild animals find there way to peoples homesteads and attacking their domestic animals also raises so many eyebrows over the safety measures of our national parks.

This is not the first time such reports of wild animals attacking innocent people and animals in their homesteads are being reported. The cases have been on the increase in recent days from hippos, crocodiles attacking people in various parts of the country. All this is happening under the watch of the Kenya Wildlife Service under the management of Julius Kipngetich as the director. Appearing in one of the local televisions stations yesterday, Kipngetich said the people who killed the said lions will be prosecuted and charged with destroying state property.  What he fails to justify is what the KWS is doing to protect people living close to national parks.

In the Kitengela case for instance, the residents say that their calls to have them protected from these animals have always fallen on deaf years. Did the KWS expect to stand and watch while their animals which they consider prestigious being gulped down by the animals from the jungle while it had failed to heed to their call?

This action by the Kitengela residents should send a very comprehensible message to the Kenya Wildlife Service. It should not sit down and watch while wildlife and human conflict continue being a common occurrence in the country. Kenya boasts of having the most indigenous species of animals and trees in different parks across the country. It is however very sad on the manner in which these trees and animals are being degraded slowly by slowly. These are the same animals that act as tourist attractions in the country which is the most foreign exchange earner. What happens to the tourism sector which nearly came down recently over security reasons after this?

As much as such the barbaric actions by the Kitengela residents should be condemned, KWS should come up with proper mechanism to ensure that both the animals and the residents are protected.

Nixon Kanali, Nairobi

 

 

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