Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary (CS) Peninah Malonza told locals in the Musovo area, Nguni ward Mwingi Central that her office is committed to ending the human-wildlife conflict witnessed in the area for over five years now.
The area locals complained that they have lived with elephants in the area for over five years now and their number has since increased.
Speaking at Musovo Primary school on Sunday, Malonza said the increased conflict has been caused by very minimal rainfall witnessed in most areas.
"The major challenge is because there was very minimal rainfall in all our parks and the animals are moving in search of water and pasture," Malonza said.
The Tourism CS promised to drill earth dams in the parks for the wild animals to end the conflict.
"If we do not look for water for them, they will be uncontrollable. We will find them even in our homes," she said.
Malonza further noted, following keen observation, that the only way to end the conflict was to drill earth dams in the parks and put Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers on high alert to ensure the animals do not sneak from the parks.
"As part of CSR, she said the locals who have been troubled by the animals for a long will also benefit from the construction of boreholes too. We are also sourcing for funds to employ community scouts to work hand in hand with the KWS officers," she added.
Kitui Deputy Governor Wambua Kanani said the county is committed to ending the human-wildlife conflict in areas neighbouring parks by increasing the number of rangers to 87.
"They will be trained in a bid to help the KWS officers in Mwingi North Game reserve and Kitui South game reserve," he said
Kanani added that KWS and the county government are working to ensure the two game reserves are operational by attracting tourists in a bid to boost the economy.
"We are also planning to have two KWS camps in Kitui south and Mwingi North in a bid to ensure the parks are operational," he added.
He also said the cutline in Tana River -Kitui border will be demarcated clearly and six police posts erected along the border to also end banditry.
Area MP Gideon Mulyungi said the area has seen an invasion of elephants for several years now.
He said over 198 farms have been destroyed so far and none has been compensated.
"We want the elephants out of this area as fast as possible," he said
Area MCA, Jeremiah Mutua urged the CS that as part of CSR, the locals requested the fencing of nearby schools and the drilling of earth dams in the area too.
"The locals are eagerly waiting for compensation as they are now staring at starvation," he added.
The event was also attended by Kitui County Commissioner, Erastus Mbui, a section of other MCAs, among other leaders.