By Wanjohi Gakio
The Laikipia government will build a Sh27 million electric fence around Marmanet Forest to control human-wildlife conflict in Laikipia West. The six-kilometre fence is funded by the Denmark Development Corporation through Community Development Trust Fund.
It will be implemented by Hope, a community-based organisation. Governor Joshua Irungu said his administration is committed to providing a suitable environment to any organisation that wants to supplement the county efforts of delivering services to wananchi.
Speaking at Kaichakuni village during the launch of the project on Monday, Irungu urged residents, especially members of Community Forest Associations to take care of the fence. The fence is intended to protect farmers from elephant invasions. "My government has set aside Sh20 million in the 2013-14 financial year to put up more fences and prevent wildlife from destroying crops and killing people," he said.
Laikipia has the largest number of wild animals living outside parks in the country. Senator G G Kariuki said the Wildlife Act is an adulterated version of his 2005 Wildlife Bill, which provided that people should be compensated when killed, maimed or their crops destroyed by wild animals.
He said the law should be amended as it gives more weight to protection of animals and fails to adequately address the plight of the people. "The law imposes a fine of Sh20 million for killing a rhino but the compensation for people killed by the same animals is very little. We wonder who between the animal and the human being is worth being compensated more," Kariuki said.