A significant number of Murang’a farmers have submitted a formal request to the National Assembly, seeking compensation for the extensive damage inflicted on their farms by monkeys.
Over 2,000 farmers from various parts of the county are seeking compensation for the destruction of their farm produce caused by monkeys, resulting in substantial losses.
The farmers argue that monkeys are not recognized as wild animals eligible for compensation by the government.
The petition calls for a review of the Kenya Wildlife Management and Conservation Act 2013, urging the inclusion of vervet monkeys as wildlife species deserving compensation for property destruction.
Furthermore, the farmers are advocating for the Cabinet Secretary overseeing the Kenya Wildlife Service to amend the Wildlife Management and Conservation Regulations 2016 to incorporate compensation for damages caused by the monkeys.
Residents from sub-counties such as Gatang’a, Kiharu, Kigumo, and Kahuro have expressed distress over the extensive destruction of their farm produce, causing a food scarcity crisis.
They highlight the challenges they face, including arrests by Kenya Wildlife Service officers when attempting to trap, poison, or eliminate the monkeys invading and damaging their crops even before they reach maturity.
Gachui Mungai, the County Deputy Speaker leading the petition, emphasizes the significant impediment caused by the massive invasion of farms by monkeys, hindering farmers from fully engaging in contract farming due to reduced harvests.
Gachui observes that communities in Gatanga, Maragua, Kandara, Kigumo, and Gatundu North suffer from food insecurity as the monkeys continuously ravage their farms.
In the coming weeks, Gachui notes their intention to present the petition to the Speaker of the National Assembly, expressing hope that its approval will provide substantial relief to farmers in Murang’a County.
Residents have highlighted the extent of the problem, noting that the monkeys not only damage crops but also pose a threat to residents, especially children and women. They are urging for a permanent solution and hope for the parliament to address their concerns and provide relief from the destruction caused by the monkeys.