Emotoroki man dies after elephant attack

On the issue of compensation, Ongwae said that the County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committee will have to convene a meeting where that decision will be made

By Our reporter

The people of Emotoroki community have declared that they are done with becoming ‘sacrificial lambs’ for wild animals in the area.

This was after a man lost his life after being attacked by an elephant.

Area residents, led by chief Isaac Pasua, say that the incident happened at a watering point in the area. “The elephant came to the community watering hole and started attacking a woman who was fetching water,” said the chief.

“It is at that point that men who were nearby went to her rescue. The elephant then left the woman and now went after the men and that is how the man was attacked.”

After the attack Lenana Peneti was rushed to the Kajiado Referral Hospital, where he died while receiving treatment. When the news of the man’s death reached the people of Emutoroki, which is in Kajiado Central, they took up twigs and started demonstrating around the village.

The chief accused the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) of turning a blind eye in their struggles with wild animals.

“I make monthly reports about the wildlife menace. Our people are living in constant fear of attacks by wild animals; the children are forced to go to school as late as 9am and coming out at 2pm so that they can be accompanied by their parents,” he said adding that the siatuation had led to the deterioration of educational standards in the area.

“Over the last two years four people have been killed by elephants, seven people have been injured by lions, while many more have been bitten by snakes, yet none of them have been compensated, despite the fact that we have been filing these reports the KWS office in Kajiado,” explained Chief Pasua.

When contacted the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS), through County Warden Vincent Ongwae disputed the narrative given by Chief Pasua, insisting that the dead man provoked the elephant.

“Let us learn to tell the truth when some things happen,” he said. “When the elephant came to the watering point, the man was asked to not provoke the elephant but he went ahead and threw the first spear which missed the elephant, the elephant reacted after it was hit by the second spear.”

He added that the elephant only came to drink water. “They should have allowed the elephant to drink water after which it would just have gone on its way.”

Ongwae also disputed the allegation that the KWS did not respond to the tragedy. “I personally organised for a KWS vehicle to take the injured man to hospital,” he explained.

“I even coordinated the fueling of the vehicle.”

He explained that the elephant in question had a leg injury and had been treated three days back.

“It was now back on its feet and that is how it went in search of water. Our team is tracking the elephant so that a decision can be made whether to eliminate it, as we do not know how severe the spear injury is,” added Ongwae.

After Lenana’s burial, Ongwae said that KWS will organise a leaders’ meeting so as to take them through the historical issues that have occurred there.

“We also need to do a lot of CSR projects in the community,” he said.

On the issue of compensation, Ongwae said that the County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committee will have to convene a meeting where that decision will be made.

The County KWS Warden is the secretary of that committee, which is chaired by the County Commissioner.

The committee’s decision is later forwarded to the ministerial wildlife conservation and compensation committee, chaired by CS Najib Balala.

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