Coast

Elephants wreak havoc on Ganze farmers, leaving trail of death, destruction

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The escalating human-wildlife conflict has also impacted education, with many schools in Ganze adjusting their reporting and departure hours to ensure the safety of learners.

Fear and anxiety have gripped the residents of Ganze sub-county in Kilifi following a tragic incident where an elephant killed a local farmer.

The community is now urgently appealing to the national government to erect an electric fence around Tsavo East National Park to prevent further incursions by the jumbos.

The recent invasion not only resulted in a fatality but also caused significant destruction to farms, threatening the livelihoods of many residents.

The attack occurred in Mrya-Chakwe, a remote village within the sub-county on Monday where the man was trampled by an elephant. His body remains at Kilifi Teaching and Referral Hospital Morgue, awaiting identification and burial by his family.

The incident is the latest in a series of human-wildlife conflicts that have plagued Ganze for the past four years. Local farmers blame these conflicts for exacerbating poverty in the area, as elephants frequently invade their farms, destroying crops and property.

A section of a farm destroyed by elephants in Ganze, Kilifi County. (Photo: Farhiya Hussein)

“I had invested Sh300,000 in my cassava project, expecting to harvest at the end of this month. My client had already paid an advance of Sh50,000. Now, the elephants have destroyed everything,” Eunice Shungu, a local farmer specialising in agribusiness lamented.

“My cassava farm has been ruined three times. I reported the damage, and the Kenya Wildlife Service assessed it, but they asked me to visit their office in Arabuko Sokoke to fill out a form. I can’t afford the fare to get there,” Kafedha Kazungu Maitha, a resident of Jitume village said, highlighting the bureaucratic hurdles faced by victims of wildlife invasions.

A local farmer in Ganze village shows the destruction left by elephants at his farm in Kilifi County. (Photo: Farhiya Hussein)

Kilifi County Assembly Speaker Teddy Mwambire, who hails from Ganze, has also suffered significant losses.

“I’ve lost farm produce worth over Sh4 million due to these invasions. Just last week, my herdsman had to flee for his life when he encountered elephants while tending to the cattle. This situation is untenable,” Mwambire stated, calling for urgent government intervention to protect lives and property.

The escalating human-wildlife conflict has also impacted education, with many schools in Ganze adjusting their reporting and departure hours to ensure the safety of learners.

Parents are demanding immediate measures to contain the elephants within Tsavo East National Park, fearing for their children’s safety.

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