Facebook | Messages – HUMAN WILDLIFE CONFLICTS ON THE RISE IN WESTGATE (NGUTUK O’NG’IRON) – PART I
Conservancy is one of the conservation areas in Samburu East like
Kalama, Sira, Namunyak and Meibai conservancies as well as Samburu Game
Reserve. Westgate Conservancy is under Ngutuk O’Ngiron group ranch which
is one of the group ranches in Samburu East like Girgir, Losesia,
Sebashe, Namunyak, Lodung’okwe and Kikwar.
In Samburu East, lands
have been adjudicated into communal group ranches and each ranch owns a
conservancy apart from Kikwar which was constituted recently mid this
year (2010). In our district, 100% of land is not arable and that is why
huge tracks of land remain idle but primarily used by our animals for
pasture and portions of it curved out for wildlife conservation in
respective group ranches for the purpose of tourism as the next possible
option for economic benefit. For more information about private land,
trust land and group ranches, please check the forum’s discussion board
for an article titled ‘Trust land, Private land and Group ranches”.
Conservancy bounders Samburu Game Reserve on the western zone of the
reserve and Kalama conservancy on South Western part of Kalama’s.
Westgate area is upstream along the famous Waso Nyiro River, which is
the backbone of our conservancies and game reserves. As you move
upstream along Waso Nyiro, there is change of altitude with better
vegetation cover. That makes Westgate a good area endowed with high
The people of Ngutuk O’Ngiron area live in
traditional Samburu manyattas. Development and literacy level in the
area is quite low. Modernity is only in conservancies coming up, tourist
lodges, campsites and white missionaries visiting the area bringing
development like constructing primary school, digging boreholes,
supplying relief among many other things.
Samburu people have
coexisted with wild animals and conservation has been critical part of
their culture. According to their traditions, they are not allowed to
kill wild animals unless they do so for retaliation e.g. if a lion
attacks their animals or people. They are also not allowed to cut down a
standing tree but parts of its branches and that adequately answers our
question why is wildlife found abundantly in Maa areas only, in East
Africa? Maasai Mara is there today because of the culture of Maasai,
Serengeti in Tanzania, Amboseli in Kajiado and Samburu Game Reserve in
Samburu Kenya are there today because of our common Maa cultures.
The article below is writen and sent in by Tom Lolosoli.
as modernity creeps in this virgin lands endowed with wildlife
plentifully, man is changed to something different. They start realizing
the value of these animals in various negative angles like noticing
that some animals are carrying expensive wildlife trophies, others with
bush meet on high demand and natural protectors of the wildlife
resources are now turned to its enemies. That is why so many
anti-poaching agencies local and international are formed each passing
day to come for the mercy and protection of these animals. Governments
are left grappling with measures to prevent further loses of animals at
alarming rates that drives some species to be declared extinct.
Development in various areas of the country seals migratory animals’
routes like for the case of elephants. This again brings human-wildlife
conflicts as animals forces their ways across private farms destroying
properties worth thousands and even at times millions of shillings. When
man poaches grazers uncontrollably, it reduces the food stock of wild
carnivores forcing them to attack domestic animals in peoples’ homes.
That one again increases animosity between man and the beasts. Though
man and wild animals have been coexisting together, but with a buffer
that if any, whether man or the animal crosses the buffer at a wrong
time and situation, either party risks attack. This again put man and
the wild animals at a constant conflict.
CASES OF WILD ANIMALS ATTACKS IN WESTGATE
have been cases of wild animals attacking residents of Ngutuk O’ngiron
area in Westgate. Some had been reported and others not. To cover a few,
let us start with the case of old man Piritian Lekoitip who was
attacked by a rogue elephant in 2008. Just while walking on his way
home, the old man encountered an Elephant accidentally at a close
distance, before he made a wise decision to escape, the elly turned
quickly and shoved him away by its tusks. Before the Tusker could figure
out where the man lied after throwing him several yards away, he was
lucky to get back on his feet and running away to a hide out.
Nevertheless, he was hit hard on the side breaking one of his ribs. He
was lucky enough to escape alive.
On 3rdofMarch2010, an elephant
killed a young boy. Like the old man, the boy just encountered the
elephant mid way but sad enough he was not lucky to escape the trap of
death and the beast was already on him trampling on his body to death.
some few months after that, a crocodile attacked a young girl from
Lenakio’s family while watering her jerrican on the side of the river
bank mangling and eating her completely and the only thing left was a
necklace she wore around her neck.
On June 2010, a lion felled
two camels prompting its owners to retaliate by killing it. They however
presented the beasts trophies (Skin and claws) to Westgate Conservancy
manager Mr. Daniel Letooye. They were advised not to repeat the same but
to report to authorities first.
On 4thofJuly2010, while grazing
their animals out in the fields, an elephant attacked a young girl the
late Saliwan Leparachau. She was trodden and flattened on the ground
several times by the beast that left rescuers wondering the extent of
smash up of her body. They hardly identified the head and the rest of
The following day on 5thofJuly2010, a woman called
Stella Lentiyoo was attacked by an elephant and escaped alive with a
broken leg. She is still recuperating in the hospital.
of August 2010, an elephant again attacked an old man from Lesil family
but he was lucky to escape unhurt and the list may be endless.
End of Part I, continue with Part II on the next message