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Hippos Giving Villagers Sleepless Nights in Lamu

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Villagers in Lamu County are spending sleepless nights following the invasion of their homes and water sources by hippopotamuses.

The situation is worse in Mkunumbi, Koreni, Bar’goni, Roka-Kibiboni, and Lake Chomo areas of the county.

Speaking to Opera News Hub on Monday, the residents expressed disappointment over the manner in which the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) was taking centuries in solving the problem.

Hussein Ali, a resident of Koreni said the hippos have been roaming their villages for the past three weeks.

Mr Ali said residents, most of them herders can no longer access the Koreni and Mkunumbi dams after the more than 10 hippopotamuses invaded the waterpoints and settled there.

Mr Ali pleaded with the wildlife service to ensure prompt action is taken to drive the dangerous animals away from human habitats.

“We have informed the KWS about these roaming hippos. We can’t enjoy peace anymore here in our villages. The hippos have invaded our dams and settled there. During the night, these creatures have formed a tendency of walking freely in our homesteads in search of food. Let the KWS drive these animals away or else, they will kill us here,” said Mr Ali.

Fatma Abatika, a resident of Mkunumbi complained that locals within the village are forced to stay indoors for fear of being attacked by the hippopotamuses.

Ms Abatika says various activities, including women group meetings, cannot be attended as locals fear being attacked while on their way.

“Our children no longer go to school.  Absenteeism has greatly increased since the hippos invaded our places about a month ago. Social and economic activities have also been affected. Something needs to be done urgently to save us from these hippos,” said Ms Abatika.

Lamu County Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Commander, Mathias Mwavita admitted that there are increased human-wildlife conflicts in Lamu since the drought spell kicked in.

Mr Mwavita however said interventions were being done to address the issue.

“People should understand that wildlife invasion to people’s homes is inevitable this period of drought. The most important thing they should do is to report promptly to KWS once they spot roaming wildlife in their villages. They should desist from attacking these animals since that’s similar to endangering their own lives,” said Mr Mwavita.

He said in a move to reduce cases where wildlife invades homes in search of water, the KWS has already commenced water trucking exercises for wildlife in various parts of Lamu

Ends

Content created and supplied by: MwagungaThoya (via Opera News )

Hussein Ali KWS Koreni Lamu County Mkunumbi

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