MWATATE residents say the Kenya Wildlife Services is allowing illegal herders to graze at the Tsavo West National Park.
The residents said outsiders were let in at the expense of local community members, whose land is constantly invaded by wildlife from the park.
They were speaking at Bura during a meeting attended by Environment principal secretary Richard Lesiyampe and Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadime on Saturday.
Bura resident Davison Mwachala said the park has been turned into a ranch by external grazers.
“The herders are armed with guns and do poaching. Elephants are running away from the park to the villages for fear of their lives,” Mwachala said.
Lesiyampe blamed the Taita ranchers for hosting the grazers in their land, saying the guests sneak their animals into the park at night and during the dry spell.
“We incur heavy expenses evicting the livestock from the park. Anyone found grazing there will face the law,” Lesiyampe said.
Mwadime urged the wildlife service to start projects that will benefit residents.
“We want KWS to support us in drilling boreholes and building classrooms,” Mwadime said.
He asked the body to also erect an electric fence at the original park boundary.
The community members accuse KWS of extending the park boundary into their farms.