The Lamu West Sub County Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Ngugi Thuo has warned farmers and herders against retaliatory attacks following reports of renewed pastoralists-farmer conflicts over grazing land.
Thuo who was speaking at Ndambwe village in Mpeketoni warned that such attacks will not be tolerated.
“It is unfair for a herder to steer his flock into someone’s farm knowing all too well that the farmer has put in a lot of effort to ensure his field is well kept,” Thuo stated.
The government official further stated that there is need for both the herders and farmers to declare a truce and co-exist for the betterment of the county.
“Conflicts as we all know can only lead to more deaths and the economy of this area will stagnate and also force children to drop out of school,” he added.
Thuo went on to state that there is need for respect between the two groups so as to co-exist.
“Farmers and herders have to respect each other so as to coexist. A herder does not have the right to injure or kill a farmer and a farmer does not have the right to injure an animal, all that is against the law,” he said.
He went on to say that herders should stop intimidating farmers with death citing that they (herders) are supposed to manage their animals not to stray into shambas that has plantations.
“I have come across over 200 animals with only two young boys. The animals will overwhelm them. Let adults look after the animals,” Thuo added.
Lamu County, still bears the brunt of farmer-herder conflicts, which in some instances are usually politicized by local leaders ahead of elections to drive out “unfriendly” communities.
Despite several government interventions, these conflicts have morphed into suspected terror attacks where whole villages such as Jiwa in 2017 have been displaced in what some security agents have termed as farmer-herder conflicts.
By Amenya Ochieng