Share revenue with residents, ranchers told

Jim Nyamu with an elephant in Tsavo National Park, Voi. file photo | nmg
Jim Nyamu with an elephant in Tsavo National Park, Voi. file photo | nmg 

Elephant conservationist Jim Nyamu has put owners of private ranches in Laikipia on the spot over failure to share the revenue they generate with the neighbouring communities, contributing to the illegal invasion.

The director of Elephant Neighbors Centre (ENC) who walks to raise awareness on elephants’ protection said that the private conservancies had shown little effort in establishing goodwill with the locals.

“The private ranchers don’t share the revenue they get with the locals because they consider themselves private. Look at what happens in Tsavo and Shiba hills, the government ensures that it shares what it gets with the locals,” he noted.

Speaking in Murang’a during 13th edition of his walks, Mr Nyamu suggested that the government should repossess a section of land and establish a state-owned conservancy as part of the solution.

“We need to support the Kenya Wildlife Service acquire land in Laikipia and form a State-owned conservancy. This will help create a harmonious relationship with the locals who enjoys the fruits of such parks,” he said.

He however condemned the invasion that left a trail of destruction in the ranches and loss of lives saying they were not justified.

The herders indiscriminately killed wild animals including elephants and lions, which the conservationist termed as a huge loss.

“It is very unfortunate that those invasions happened and they might have been instigated by politicians. We lost so many animals,” he said.

The deployment of a contingent of police officers has helped restore sanity and peace.

Mr Nyamu noted that the communities must be educated on the importance of wildlife to prevent future attacks on the ranches and animals.

On curbing poaching in the country, Mr Nyamu blamed the lack of awareness on the importance of protection of wildlife saying KWS is constrained by limited resources.