DEALT WITH POACH­ING, FOR­GOT LIVE­STOCK IN­VA­SION

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Coast -

Chep­tei said the KWS had pre­vi­ously con­cen­trated on end­ing poach­ing but lost track of pas­toral­ists in­vad­ing the park. “Poach­ing has de­clined by 80 per cent. We now fo­cus on this live­stock men­ace. We had fo­cused on poach­ing and did not re­alise live­stock were com­ing in,” he said. Ac­cord­ing to the KWS, live­stock are brought in from neigh­bour­ing county Ka­ji­ado and Tan­za­nia,which borders Kenya on the Taveta side. Chep­tei said the prob­lem was fu­elled by Taita Taveta res­i­dents, who wel­comed the pas­toral com­mu­ni­ties by leas­ing out their pri­vate ranches to them. He said the live­stock were driven into the park af­ter the pri­vate ranches were over­whelmed and failed to cater for the ever-in­creas­ing num­bers of an­i­mals be­ing brought in by the “vis­i­tors”. Chep­tei said the prob­lem is wors­ened by the fact that Taita Taveta is the only county “free from any an­i­mal dis­ease”, hence pre­ferred by many pas­toral­ists.

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