Residents of Musutsu Village, Lumakanda Location, Lugari Sub-County have raised concern over monkeys that have continued to destroy their maize plantations and other crops.
The residents want the government through Kenya Wildlife Service to ensure monkeys remain in the forest and are controlled from entering their village farms.
Led by Carren Kihima whose three-acre maize plantation has been destroyed by approximately over a hundred monkeys on the loose said she took a loan to finance her maize farming and now wondering how to repay the loan.
“I am a widow and I don’t know who is going to compensate me for the money I have used to plant the maize,” Kihima said.
She said the government should find a solution by detaining the monkeys in the forest by erecting a permanent electric fence.
Kihima called on the KWS to pay for the loan she borrowed to finance her maize farming, adding that there was none to assist her.
“I have borrowed this loan from Apolo farming financing group and I am helpless because I don’t know I’ll repay it,” she complained.
She said the neighbours have also experienced monkeys destroying their crops in their farms and there was no action taken even after complaining to the relevant government bodies.
Henry Muleri, also a farmer in Musutsu Village said fear of monkeys’ destruction have made him not till his ten-acre land.
Muleri revealed that monkeys have destroyed their farm crops for the last five years with no action from concerned authorities.
“Like this woman here, she has taken a loan and put three-acre maize plantation and now who will pay for her now that she is widow?,” posed Muleri.
He complained that farmers and residents of Musutsu Village have been held hostage by monkeys who have denied them freedom to till the lands which have been left fallow.
He regretted that hunger which is already affecting them will continue through next year if quick action is not taken to prevent further destruction.
But Lugari Sub-County Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Moses Gicharu said KWS officers from Kakamega acted swiftly and controlled monkeys from further damaging people’s crops in Lumakanda Location.
Gicharu asked the locals especially at Musutsu Village to work closely with KWS officers and learn how they can co-exist with the monkeys by adopting sustainable solutions for instance those farmers bordering government Lugari Forest to plant fruits, which can be consumed by monkeys, hence preventing them from entering people’s farms.