Speaking when he called on Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria, Balala said Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) will immediately open an office in the county to help in capturing and relocating the velvet monkeys that have been causing havoc and destroying crops in farms.
Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala moves to put a stop of the 'monkey business' in Murang'a County
For years farmers in the area have been complaining that the monkeys are invading their farms and eating their crops, resulting in no or minimal harvest.
“As a Ministry we are concerned by the increased destruction of crops by the monkeys this time round and we will also embark on research to find out why the animals have become so aggressive,” noted Balala.
The CS said the KWS wardens will provide a formula of trapping the monkeys and relocate them to Aberdares forest.
Women in the area have also complained of being sexually harassed by the cheeky primates who can clearly differentiate between men and women.
“You cannot get out of the house without a weapon to defend yourself from the animals in case you cross paths with them,” Anastasia Mugure, a resident from Ngangaini village, said.
“They look down on women because if you find them on the way they cannot move even an inch, but if they see a man they just walk away,” she says. “There was a time they almost undressed a woman when they found her in her farm.
The women claim male monkeys blink at them before beckoning them and at times the monkeys point towards their private parts, making them very uncomfortable.
Balala who was accompanied by KWS Director General Julius Kimani said an elaborate programme will be rolled out to prevent human-wildlife conflicts adding that continuous compensation was expensive.
“For short term solution, we will embark on trapping the primates and taking them deep in Aberdares forest and also KWS wardens will engage with farmers and educate them how to tame the animals from their farms,” he added.
“It’s better to adopt preventive measures than to wait for our crops to be destroyed and then seek compensation which is not forthcoming,”
Murang’a County last month caused a stir after it declared an all-out war against the mischievous animals and started a programme dubbed ‘Tafuta Tumbili’ to rein in over 10,000 monkeys.
The county government set aside a Sh3 million budget for the fight and provided farmers with traps to catch monkeys from their farms.
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