By The Voice Reporter
Residents of Mutunyi village in Buuri constituency have heaved a sigh of relief after an electric fence was constructed to ward off elephants from their farms.
For several years now, the over 8,000 residents who will benefit from the project have had to contend with destruction of their crops by marauding elephants. However, with the building of the 2.5 kilometre fence which cost over Sh1 million, this is now a thing of the past.

Speaking of their past tribulations during the commissioning of the project by Governor Kawira Mwangaza, the residents said since installation of the fence, they have realised a bumper harvest.
“This season I harvested 12 bags of maize from my one acre piece of land. Initially, I would hardly harvest anything so I used to cut the green maize and sold to dairy farmers as silage. The fence is a big relief to us,” said Lucy Karimi, a resident.

The fence was built from proceeds of last year’s Lewa Safari Marathon in collaboration with the community, said John Kinoti, chief programmes and partnerships officer.
“In all our projects we work with the community and involve them because they are part of us. We build partnerships with the community for their livelihood enhancement and this fence will help in human-wildlife conflict mitigation,” Mr Kinoti said, adding that this year’s Marathon will be held on June 29.
Lawrence Riungu, head of community development programmes said construction of the fence started in September and completed within four months.
“The community identified this project for allocation of funds from proceeds of the 2022/23 Lewa Safari Marathon and we decided to honour their pledge,” he said.

According to David Mwiti, the chairman of a committee that worked in collaboration with Lewa Conservancy, in the past some residents had moved out of their land due to human-wildlife conflict.
“They camped in the shopping centre and would use all manner of methods to keep elephants out of their farms including building a stone wall which was futile since the jumbos would just pass as though there was no barrier. This project which the community has owned is God sent,” he said.
Ms Mwangaza said her administration would continue collaborating with other partners to realise more development.
“Lewa Conservancy are our good friends and I will not tire asking them to help us. Soon I will knock on their door to seek help in sinking a borehole so that we can get water and I know they will come to our aid,” she said.


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