A group of farmers in Njabini area of Kinangop are counting losses running into thousands of shillings after a herd of elephants raided their farms leaving a trail of destruction.
During the incident, some of the affected farmers had to spend the night in the cold after the wild animals demolished part of their houses.
For years, cases of wildlife attacks in the area have been rare after KWS and donors erected an electric fence around the Aberdare forest which is home to tens of elephants.
It’s suspected that the over ten elephants made their way to the village after breaking one of the gates around the forest that borders several trading centers.
According to one of the affected farmers, Priscilla Mugure, the elephants had uprooted crops worth thousands of shillings before retreating back to the forest.
Mugure said that efforts to repulse the herd were impossible, forcing the affected families to flee from their homes for the better part of the night.
“This is the first time in many years that elephants have invaded our farms and we are asking KWS to urgently address the problem before we lose any lives,” she said.
This was echoed by another farmer Solomon Kihia who said that the elephants uprooted the plantation of vegetables and potatoes during the invasion.
He narrated how they tried in vain to push out the wild animals adding that they would seek compensation from KWS.
“For months we went without food only for the elephants to take advantage of the dead electric fence to invade our farms just as we were preparing to harvest,” he said.
Area Assistant Chief Gatonye Ndung’u confirmed the incident adding that KWS officers had been informed of the incident.
He said that no one was injured during the invasion, adding that the wild animals had left a trail of destruction before they finally retreated to the forest.
“KWS and agricultural officers have been informed so that they could do an assessment on the damages while addressing the issue of the electric fence,” he said.
Gatonye added that reports of invasion were previously reported in the month of July before an electric fence was erected around the forest.