Interdenominational pastors in Kajiado County has told the government to immediately put a stop to more deaths in ongoing human/wildlife conflicts.
Kenyewa Pastors Association guild, in a statement signed by 31 pastors domiciled in Kajiado East constituency, said they are “tired” burying people killed by wild animals.
Rev. John ole Tinkoi, who is the guild’s secretary general, Chairman Pastor Elisha Kipilosh, Vice Chairman Dancun Simpiroi, Treasurer Pastor Japheth Kakuo, and Coordinator Pastor Daudi Lentoe said the Church cannot sit back and watch a section of the country bleeding.
Nominated Senator Judy Pareno.
“As a Church, we cannot sit back and be part of those counting and burying the dead. We take this opportunity to speak to the government and tell the leadership that all is not well. People are trampled upon and killed by elephants at will as Kenya Wildlife Services watch them die,” said Tinkoi.
Tinkoi said the lives of people being killed by wild animals in settlement areas are more important than the beasts the government is protecting.
He said that other the three deaths reported in the last two and a half weeks caused by wildlife conflicts in Masimba and Merrueshi areas of Kajiado, elephants have destroyed and uprooted water pipes in Eleikasa and Esarunoto areas.
“Fences in several schools in Masimba have been uprooted, while in Oloikara area greenhouses belonging to farmers have been destroyed,” said Tinkoi.
Earlier on Thursday, nominated Senator Judy Pareno, claimed a community living on the border of Kajiado and Makueni counties in Sultan Hamud lost property and livestock valued at Sh5 million to stray elephants and lions.
“At the home of Edward Ndilai, elephants uprooted crops and fences, Entareto Secondary School gates have also been uprooted by elephants and pit latrines in the surrounding schools have also been damaged by Jumbos,” said Pareno.
She said some of the farmers who have suffered most in on-going human/wildlife conflict include; Daniel Kata, Moses Leyian, George Morosua, Timothy Solitei, Douglas Kanchaoi, Agatha Solitei, and Jeremiah Koromo.
The senator Pareyo and the pastors confirmed there are 30 elephants roaming the bushes of Masimba currently as Kenya Wildlife Service rangers have “kept” off the area.
Kajiado KWS senior warden, Muteru Njauuini, on Thursday last week said he had been warned by his seniors in Nairobi against talking to the media in Kajiado.
“They told me they have a communication office in Nairobi which will always respond to issues regarding human/wildlife conflicts. Kindly talk to our people in Nairobi to confirm whatever questions you have,” said Njauuini.
We visited Masimba on Friday last week and witnessed that several schools in the area have been closed due to alleged insecurity posed by elephants.
Fresh elephant footmarks were also evident at a water pan next to where one man, Pelo Muterian, was killed by an elephant on May 24.
“For the last eight years, close to ten lives have been lost, several people maimed, and livestock mauled by lions with no penny for compensation from the government,” said Pastor Kipilosh.
In a span of one week, two weeks ago, William Sonke Marona, Tom Parkisali, Pelo Muterian were killed by stray elephants, in what appears to be callousness on the side of the authorities and KWS, Kipilosh said.
Kipilosh said schools that have been closed down due to elephant menace include; Enkonerei, Oltukai, Oldonyo Lenkai, Nkusso, Chyulu, Nemasi, and Paranai primary schools. The pastors said the government mints millions of shillings as a result of tourism but that unfortunately for the locals of Kenyewa/Poka Ward little is done to improve their livelihoods through the local wildlife conservancy activities.
“We hereby calling upon the government to speed up the compensation of all the affected families and also fence off Chyulu Hills National Park and Amboseli National park to prevent more life loss from wildlife attacks,” the guild concluded.