The Star (Nairobi)

27 August 2012

Kenya: Taita Farmers Diverting Water From Tsavo

Taita Taveta residents living in the hilly areas have been accused of diverting water into their farms resulting to shortage in the lowlands and Tsavo East National Park. This has prompted human-wildlife conflict with animals moving to settlement in search of water.

Robert Obrien, the senior warder in-charge of the park, said elephants have migrated to human settlement areas in search of water since the park has dried up.

"Degradation of the environment at the hill top areas which used to act as the water tower in the region in the past years has resulted to little water resources in the low land areas. Most rivers which used to flow down to the park have now dried and the remaining few cannot flow down to the park due to the many water diversion by farmers at the hills," he said.

Speaking to the Star during an interview , Obrien said that lack of water in the park has resulted to the perennial human wildlife conflict that has continued to hit the region every year. "This is the reason why most elephants are now more concentrated at the Taita hills sanctuary since there is plenty of water there and in the process causing trouble for farmers," he said.

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