African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".


Posted by African Press International on July 10, 2008

By Leo Odera Omolo.

It is real menace and conflicts of interest between mankind and wild animals in the North Rift Valley region of Kenya.

The region is under the invasion of green locusts, while monkeys are competing with human beings in harvesting food crops in the fields.

In Keiyo district, rowdy and most aggressive herds of elephants, which had strayed in the villages from the nearby Rimoi Game Reserve are reported to have destroyed more than 10 water pipes cutting the supply of water to Kiptoro Primary School.

He area civic leader Councillor Amos Chesum, said the rogue jumbos destroyed the pipes

after drinking all the water in a cattle trough near the school. He suspected that the

animals when they had finished the water in the trough thereby destroying the only water

pipeline in the area..

Coun. Chesum appealed to the Kenya Wildlife Service{KWS} to construct more water pans and dig more boreholes inside the game reserve.

At the same time fears persist of tortoises which cause road accidents frequently as they cross the main Nakuru-Marigat road.

These are some of the most startling and puzzling reports emerging from the North Rift says that motorist plying the busy Nakuru-Marigat road have complained of persistent obstruction by tortoises at times leading to several mishaps.

Tortoises are considered the slowest moving mammals or animal in this planet. Its slowlyness has featured in many African folk stories in various communities, though it is harmless and very humble creature.

According to a report appearing in a regional weekly, THE RIFT VALLEY OBSERVER, the motorists have reported that tortoises were giving them a rough time as these creatures crossed the road almost causing accidents.

A driver with Valley Shuttles, which is one of the major Companies whose vehicles ply the route, was quoted by the weekly as saying that a number of tortoises were being crushed along this busy road.

When driving along this road one has to be extra careful because at times a driver has to brake instantly to avoid crushing the tortoise

Traveling on the road by night is a nightmare. It is a big problem because of the invisibility said the driver who reported that this has become a victim of the road mishap caused by these slow moving creatures.

In the same region residents of Baringo District are trying to come to terms with devastating crop failure that threatens thousands of families.

Residents of Eldama Eldume Location of Marigat Division are now faced with another challenge from green locusts.

The locust that invaded the area in the last one week have already destroyed more than five acres of food crops according to Baringo district Agricultural officer Mr. Dan Guda.

Farmers in the area have expressed fears that they were faced with economic ruin from the swarm of locusts that were devouring vegetable, beans, maize and were now threatened pasture for their livestock.

in this area, we depend on livestock and unless the government move fats to deal with the locusts our lives will be doomed, said a local farmer Wilson Leket.

Most of the vegetables, which the residents of Marigat town depend on, come from Eldume farmers who utilize water from Perkera River to irrigate their vegetable and maize fields.

Another farmer disclosed that they sell the vegetables to earn income that they used to purchase food stuff and paid school fees for their schooling children.

We will perish if the locusts are not controlled soon. Said Mr. James Lekesio.

Lekesio explained that a swarm of green locusts invaded the area last week and started by destroying shrubs and bushes before descending on his farms, they are moving fast, and the grasshoppers are now hatched I the grazing fields.

Hehamus ward councilor Francis Ole Keis appealed to the government through the ministry of Agriculture and other well wishers to come to the assistance of the local farmers with pesticides and spraying tools to deal with locust.

The civic leader also wants the Ministry Of Agriculture to provide the farmers with technical know how and to give them (farmers) with protective gear to avoid being affected by the pesticides.

The DAO Mr. Guda confirms said the ministry had already supplied 10 litres of pesticides to the farmers. He added that technical officers were already on the ground to assist the farmers.

Guda said the green locusts could be very destructive and are capable of destroying up to one acre of food crop per day. But he was quick in assuring the farmers that the locust would be controlled soon we have enough pesticides in our stores and before long we will control the spread of the locusts.

According to the local people, such locusts were last seen in Baringo in 1952 with elders saying it caused great famine after feasting on all green pastures we did not do farming those days all we depended on livestock, said one elder.

In the same region residents of Ossen village in Baringo District have appealed to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to move out monkeys that have been destroying their crops.

Led by Dr. Charles Kulei, the villagers said the animals were causing havoc to their farmers by uprooting their crops and harvesting unripe fruits from their farms. The monkeys, said the farmers, from Katimok forest were giving them sleepless nights with men being forced to sleep in their farms to keep away the animal.

Kulei was further quoted as saying that children and women were no longer sent to the nearby Ossen shopping centre because they would be attacked by the monkeys and robbed of their merchandise.

Area residents have threatened that they would move a step a head by poisoning the menacing animals if KWS does not act in the next few days.




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