Written by Carren Papai
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Farmers in Apegei location in Teso South district have raised concern over the increased number of monkeys that are said to be destroying crops and eating chicken.
While airing out their grievances to West Fm, residents cursed the primates saying that they cause destruction by uprooting and eating germinating maize seeds and peanuts in the farms causing a food crisis.
“Their number has enormously risen compared to the food available for them in the forests. I have already lost ten hens in the past two weeks to the monkeys,” said Amoit Lilian a desperate farmer.
The farmers claimed their efforts to control the monkeys in the past two months have yielded no fruit adding that the monkeys are very cleaver to be trapped or poisoned.
“The primates have been dodging several traps put for them and ignore poisoned food. Even hunting and killing some of them has not scared the rest away. They just disappear for two or three days then resurface again,” explained a nervous tomato farmer whose tomatoes are almost ripening.
Residents said they are now forced to spend long periods safeguarding their farms and wonder what will happen when crops are due for harvesting as the animals have proved to be more vicious during harvesting season
They blamed their woes to the provincial administration for its reluctance and adamancy in taking an immediate action to help curb the problem and have vowed to apply force to provoke the relevant authorities to act.
“If the government and KWS do not do something quickly we shall kill the monkeys and destroy all the forests in the area that harbor them. We cannot ditch our farms which are our only source of income for animals. How then shall we survive?” narrated a farmer.
Responding on the allegations, the area Chief Theodous Ikileng said the pieces of land in his location has not been gazetted adding that the Kenya Wildlife Service cannot take any action on the frightening number of the primates invaded the area.
He however, revealed having reported the matter to the area district officer and said he was waiting for his response. He also told the locals to exercise patience as they wait for feedback from the DO.
‘’Meanwhile the only way of dealing with the destructive monkeys is to chase or kill them,” the chief said.
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