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Joho to use Sh30 million to eradicate ‘Kunguru’ birds

The Mombasa county government has allocated Sh30 million to eradicate Indian House Crows which have been described by scientists as invasive pests.

The birds, commonly known as Kunguru or Kurabu, have been wrecking havoc at the Coast, denying tourists and residents a chance to hold outdoor activities.

In open air eateries, the birds are a nuisance to diners from whom they often steal food.

The aggressive birds which mostly scavenge in Mwakirunge dumpsite are also a threat in the aviation industry as they are said to have the ability to block the flight path.

But thanks to Governor Hassan Joho’s led government, the nuisance might soon be over.

In the county’s medium term draft budget 2018/2019, Sh30 million will be used to eradicate the birds in the entire tourism hub within five years starting this year. The county has however not disclosed how the eradication exercise will be done.

MOVE LAUDED

But between 1999 and 2005, A Rocha Kenya, a conservation and research organisation, used an avian poison called Starlicide to eliminate crows in Malindi, another town on the Kenyan coast.

Their records show they managed to reduce crows from hundreds to fewer than 50.

Tourism players at the Coast led by the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast branch executive officer Sam Ikwaye lauded the move and urged other neighbouring counties infested by the pests and monkeys to follow suit.

He however urged Governor Joho to collaborate with aviation experts, Kenya Wildlife Service and National Environment Management Authority (Nema) to eradicate the birds.

“Aviation players have also complained about the birds, they are a threat. Mr Joho please collaborate with other counties because the pests depend on cross boundary, whenever there is no food in Mombasa they shift to Kwale or Kilifi, other counties should start the campaign to eradicate the pests. They should use multi agency approach,” Mr Ikwaye added.