Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku has threatened to direct area residents to kill wild animals unless the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) signs a 50% revenue-sharing formula with his government.
The former Interior Cabinet Secretary stated: "If KWS does not accept mediation talks on that, we will no longer be custodians of wild animals. We will start killing and feeding on the ones that are edible.”
Governor Lenku noted that the animals were wreaking havoc in the county while offering minimal benefits to area residents.
He alleged that KWS officers were harassing residents in search of water and pasture for their animals. He further added that the wild animals had contributed to the depletion of water sources in the area.
This is after increased reports of human-wildlife conflict in the area, with wild animals straying from the parks while herders encroach on the wildlife reserves to graze their cattle.
Governor Lenku also dismissed the hiring of locals by KWS as ranger scouts, blasting the wildlife agency for supposedly paying them only Ksh2,000 per month.
He went on to declare: "We want to benefit from wildlife that is within our region and we will accept nothing less than that."
Kajiado is surrounded by three national parks, Nairobi, Amboseli and Tsavo.
This positioning makes it prone to human-wildlife conflict, which has previously resulted in fatalities.
The Governor has urged KWS to come to the table and negotiate a deal that will improve the situation for both parties.
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