Kenya: Laikipia Ranchers Must Control Wildlife, Says MP

by Dec 9, 2011Wildlife News

Public Works Assistant Minister Mwangi Kiunjuri has accused a section of ranchers in Laikipia County of failing to contain wild animals from their conservancies.

Straying from these conservancies, these animals have killed livestock and caused panic and the destruction of crops, he said.

Kiunjuri, also the MP for Laikipia East, called on the government to intervene and ensure that the interests of other residents in the area were protected. He has vowed to mobilise leaders from the region together with farmers neighbouring these ranches, and seek legal redress. “Some of these ranchers are very arrogant and never take action to control their animals after they have attacked residents and killed their livestock. We are going to seek legal help to ensure that victims are compensated and that the ranchers are fined for their negligence,” Kiunjuri said.

The MP pointed out that a number of people had also lost their lives after being attacked by these straying animals, while others seriously injured had never been compensated. “We know how important these animals are to our economy but what do we do if their owners are not taking responsibility of the damages caused?” he asked.

The assistant minister, who was reacting to complaints from residents, said the Sagera, Laikipia Natures Conservancy and Ol Ari Nyiro ranches were notably a cause of concern to their neighbours, who “continue to live in fear of the beasts”.

Recently, six stray lions from the Laikipia Natures Conservancy in Laikipia West district killed several heads of cattle and a flock of sheep and goats in the Matwiku area.Lions from the ranch owned by conservationist Kuki Galman have also been roaming freely in villages neighbouring the privately owned wildlife sanctuary, hunting livestock at will.