Kilifi residents call for action after man is killed by jumbo


Elias Yaa, The Star

Date Published
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Goshi residents in Bamba, Kilifi county are now living in fear after a man was allegedly killed by an elephant.

The decomposing body of Kahindi Karisa, 45 was discovered on Friday on top of shrubs within the Giriama ranch in Mitangani.

Mitangani area chief Stephen Thethe on Sunday said Karisa appeared to have been killed about four days ago.

“The deceased comes from Kavunzoni but he relocated to Nambani sublocation in Bamba. He came to Goshi to burn charcoal and we suspect he came face to face with the elephant while he was returning from setting his charcoal kiln. His body was discovered by herders. He had several piercings from the elephant tasks. His body had started to decompose,” Thethe said.

The administrator said he notified the police and the Kenya Wildlife Service officers who visited the scene and confirmed he had been killed by a jumbo.

The body was taken to the Kilifi county hospital mortuary.

Thethe said there is a lone jumbo which chases people while on their way to fetch water.

“I suspect this is the same elephant that killed Karisa. Unlike the other elephants which are inactive during the day, this one charges every time it hears people walking by. This has made it hard for people to perform their duties,” he said.

Safari Lewa, a resident, called on KWS officers to come to the aid of the residents by driving back the jumbos to the Tsavo East National Park.

Lewa said the presence of the jumbos has greatly affected the productivity of the area.

“We depend on the forest. This is where we herd our livestock. This is where we go to look for water and other activities. We cannot move freely now. The killing of mzee Karisa has worsened the situation. KWS officers should move from the Bamba office and camp here because this is where the wildlife is,” he added.

According to Thethe, there are three herds of elephants in the area consisting of about 25 elephants each.

Elephants from Tsavo are currently marauding across Ganze subcounty due to the drought that is ravaging the park

According to KWS officers, there are over 300 elephants in the subcounty which are expected to go back to the park during the short rains season in October.

Two months ago, KWS halted an exercise to drive back the jumbos to the park due to the presence of charcoal burners and herders on the migratory routes for the elephants.

An aerial surveillance showed several makeshifts houses constructed by the herders and the charcoal burners.

“We have a helicopter that has been assigned to drive away the elephants but if we do it with the people on the migratory route then we will be endangering their lives because once the elephants are provoked they will attack anything that comes its way,” said an officer privy to the operation.

Before he was ousted from the seat, former Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire had hinted of a plan to marshal other MPs facing similar challenges in their constituencies to set funds from the NG-CDF to complete the fencing of the Tsavo east national park.

The plan was also to rope in county governments where human-wildlife conflicts are rampant.