Ol-Joro Orok residents protest increased Hippo attacks

Residents from Gatumbiro village in Ol-Joro Orok Constituency have protested over the rising cases of human-wildlife conflicts occasioned by marauding hippos straying from Lake Ol-Bollosat.

The protest came after a 55-year-old man was on Thursday morning attacked and seriously injured by semiaquatic mammals and is recuperating at the Nyahururu County & Referral Hospital.

Samwel Wambu Kimani was attacked early in the morning some hundred meters from his home as he went on his usual job.

He made frantic efforts to escape but one of the hippos herding in a nearby farm caught up with him mauled on his left shoulder and leg.

Following the incidents, residents have complained that despite their numerous calls from the government and the KWS to intervene and help solve the menace, nothing has been forthcoming.

However, it was observed that over-encroachment of the riparian land around Lake Ol-Bollosat was a major contributor to the conflicts, as the animals lack enough pasture and hence stray into the neighboring farms.

Some of the residents decried that the wild animals have continued to feast on their crops rendering them beg for food aid.

The residents said they are now faced with starvation and have no option but to seek relief food from the government as an intervention measure.

They lamented that despite raising the issue with Kenya Wildlife Service officers no action had been taken so far.

They too fear for their lives saying the hippos roam around freely from 6 pm with some residents saying they have had close encounters with the animals.

More so, they expressed their fears for their school-going children at the neighboring schools claiming the majority of them go to school as early as 5:00 am, and hence would possibly encounter such attacks.

They now want the school management boards to review the reporting hours for the pupils in order to secure their lives.


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