Residents of Mukusu, Ngetani and Kyangosi in Masinga Sub-County, Machakos County are counting losses after a herd of elephants invaded their farms.

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The elephants which escaped from the Mwea National Park invaded farms near River Tana, destroying crops. 

Addressing journalists on Sunday, the affected residents said they have grown weary of complaining to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) about the issue.

"These elephants started invading our farms about two weeks ago. We chase them away but they come back at night and sometimes in the daytime. We have contacted the KWS several times and asked them to do something about the issue," said Lameck Kasina, one of the farmers whose farms have been invaded. 

On her part, Susan Mwau said they fear for their lives as well as the safety of their children, as the elephants have been loitering in the area.

"An encounter with this animal can be fatal. We fear for our lives and those of our kids because they can be attacked by the elephants while heading to school," said Mwau.

Malia Musili noted that she has been forced to incur extra costs as she had to buy fruits and vegetables from the market after the animals destroyed her crops.

"Cabbages and fruits are being sold at a high price in the market. It pains me because I had planted these crops on my farm but they were destroyed by the elephants," she said.

The residents are now calling upon local leaders to intervene in the issue before it gets out of hand.

"Since KWS has turned a deaf ear on us giving us promises they don't fulfil, we are asking our MCA Tariq Mulatya and MP Joshua Mwalyo to intervene in the matter as soon as possible," said Kimatu Musau. 

Elizabeth Sila, a mother of four, said they were coping well with the drought until the animals destroyed their farms and now they are forced to dig deeper into their pockets to put meals on the table.

"I would sell vegetables and fruits to get money to buy food for my family but I'm forced to find other means of making money," said Sila.