Increased population and human activities near the Tsavo National Park have been blamed for the increasing human-wildlife conflict in Taita Taveta county.
A consultative forum between the Kenya Wildlife Service and other stakeholders in the area was told that the conflict is caused by competition for water, food and space between the humans and animals.
The forum had been convened to seek strategies to end the human-wildlife conflict by boosting food and security in the region. The stakeholders said climate change is contributing to the conflict with animals being forced to move out of the conservation area and stray into the farms in search of food and water.
KWS assistant director in charge of biodiversity research and monitoring Samuel Kasiki said it has been difficult to address the rampant human-wildlife conflict in the Tsavo conservation area because the communities neighbouring the park engage in land uses. “The diversity of land uses including smallholder agriculture, pastoralism, commercial plantations and wildlife conservancies among others make it difficult to come up with a common approach to the problem,” said Kasiki.
He said elephants often stray into community farms near the protected areas in search of water and forage while the pastoralists move into the park to graze their animals during the drought. Early this week, the Kenya Wildlife Service rangers impounded more than 2,000 livestock which were found grazing in the park.
The workshop was funded by Danish Development Agency through the Office of the Prime Minister under the Green Kenya Initiative to the tune of Sh750,000 to exchange knowledge and experiences in enhancing water-food security, identifying adaptation strategies under changing climatic conditions, while mitigating human-wildlife conflicts in the Tsavo conservation area.