In Summary
  • The villagers are now afraid to leave their doors or windows open or to let their children go to school or to water points for fear that baboons might attack them.
  • Lpolei village sits in the expansive Naibung’a Conservancy, which covers more than 20,000 acres.
  • The villagers say the baboons like their huts because they provide easy access to shelter, food and water. And they don’t fear humans.

Nadutari Masaine was walking home from a water point with a jerrican of water when three baboons appeared. She tried to shoo them away but one of them jumped from a nearby tree and grabbed her jerrican. She fled, leaving her jerrican behind.

In another incident, a troop of thirsty monkeys attacked young girls at Sait Naudo, stoning, scratching and biting them.  When other villagers answered the girls’ distress calls, the monkeys fought back; they eventually retreated, but only after drinking the water and destroying the girls’ jerricans. 

The two incidents took place just days apart in December last year.

Villagers in a remote part of Lpolei in Laikipia North are complaining about baboons and monkeys stealing water from their makeshift huts in the vast community ranch.

“These monkeys are breaking into houses, stealing food, taking clothes from hanging lines, making loud noises, scaring children and destroying property,” offers Masaine, 45.

The villagers are now afraid to leave their doors or windows open or to let their children go to school or to water points for fear that baboons might attack them. Lpolei village sits in the expansive Naibung’a Conservancy, which covers more than 20,000 acres. The villagers say the baboons like their huts because they provide easy access to shelter, food and water. And they don’t fear humans.

“The major problem here is water; we hardly get water to drink. The only borehole is several kilometres away.  These animals are also feeling the effects of drought. They, too, want water to survive, that is why they are invading our homes and attacking us at water points; if we get plenty of water, this menace will end,” says Mrs Masaine.          

Mr Peter Letair, another Lpolei resident, recalls the day he arrived home one afternoon to see about five monkeys near his house: “They started jumping and making loud noises. I tried to scare them away but they bared their teeth at me. Eventually they left, but they had finished all the water and food in the house.”

NO HELP FROM KWS

 “We have tried to contact the Kenya Wildlife Service, to no avail. I am amused that KWS cannot protect us even from monkeys,” he says, adding that the monkeys tore to shreds all the clothes that were hanging on a clothesline nearby.

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