Two people have been killed by marauding elephants in Ganze sub county, Kilifi county.
Safari Kaviha, 40 was killed on Thursday night in Mwangea village Vitengeni Division while Kalume Tambo, 33 was killed on Friday morning in Mihandeni village, Bamba division.
Kenya Wildlife Service senior assistant director Coast conservation area John Wambua confirmed the incidents
Mwangea sub location assistant chief Eric Menza said ha was taking supper with his family at their homestead at around 10pm when jumbos invaded the homestead.
“Two elephants went close to where they were eating and they decided to chase them away. While they were chasing the two, another jumbo came from behind and attacked him. He was thrown a distance away and the elephant went and trampled on him. He died on the spot,” said Menza
The administrator said elephants have been roaming the area since last year.
“We have over 100 elephants around this place. KWS officers established camp here but the elephants when chased they come back after a few days. Crops have been destroyed and now lives have been lost,” he added
Menza said elephants have conquered the area posing a threat to the bumper harvest realized this year.
“People have now bought solar powered lights and they sleep in their farms to guard their maize. When one farmer raises an alarm, all the farmers around join him in chasing the elephants. They use old iron sheets which they hit to produce noise that distracts the elephants and they move away,” he added
Maryango assistant chief Lydia Kabibi said Tambo met his death at around 8am after he was tossed in the air by the elephant and later trampled on.
Kabibi said several herds of elephants invaded Maryango sub location on Thursday night.
“The elephants were on their way back to the western side of the sub location. Out of bewilderment, people started using crude means to scare the elephants away. The deceased was one of those who were chasing them. As they were driving one heard, another heard appeared from behind and everyone scampered to safety. Unfortunately he was caught by one elephant and thrown in the air. The elephant rushed to where he landed and struck him to death,” she said
Ganze MP Kenneth Kazungu blamed KWS for the deaths of the two people.
Kazungu said KWS had abdicated their duties and left people at the mercy of the jumbos.
“It is unfortunate that people have died. I have been telling the KWS about this looming danger and nothing has been done. It is even sad that up to 11am today, the bodies are still lying at the scene. If the government will do nothing about it then the residents will have to arm themselves and kill these elephants,” he said
Wambua urged residents to desist from chasing the elephants and instead should call KWS officers.
“We have officers in Bamba and in Vitengeni. People should contact these officers whenever there is an invasion of elephants,” he said
The conservator said it is very dry in Tsavo East national park where these elephants come from.
“This is as a result of climate change. There was a link between Tsavo east and Arabuko sokoke forest. The migration corridor has now been occupied by people. The long term solution is to fence Tsavo east national park. The park is huge and needs a lot of investment,” he added
He also suggested the acquisition of some of the ranches bordering the national park.
“It normaly rains in Giriama ranch. If the government can acquire Giriama ranch and fence it, it would end this problem. The animal population is growing so it would be easier for the elephants to move from Tsavo East to Giriama ranch,” he added.
Following the deaths, many people are living in fear as the jumbos maraud to areas with no known history of invasion.