The Kenya Livestock Marketing Council Chairman, Dubat Amey has called on the county assembly to pass laws that will restrict animals roaming the streets of Garissa town.
His calls follow complaints from grocery traders in Garissa town that animals mostly goats, donkeys and cows roaming the streets and preying on their wares.
Amey said since the Garissa municipal council became defunct there are no laws governing moving of animals within the urban centre.
The chair said the national and county governments should immediately take action against the owners of the hundreds of livestock roaming the streets of Garissa town and markets that are causing untold suffering to grocery traders.
Uncontrolled cows, goats, sheep and donkeys roaming the streets freely have become an eye soar to the residents and visitors alike.
He said the situation is worse at the local market which the animals have ‘turned into their grazing fields’.
Speaking to the press at the Suq Muqti market, the angry grocers urged the relevant authorities to intervene, saying ‘enough is enough’.
Mariam Aden a grocer at market said the animals have caused them great losses and untold suffering.
“These animals keep increasing every day. We are unable to sell our merchandise since they are everywhere,” Mariam said.
“The cows take opportunity of unguarded stock and snatch them away and by the time you react it’s too late,” she added.
Amina Yussuf, another trader wondered why the county was not in a hurry to solve the problem which he noted had persisted for far too long.
“We always ask ourselves who will come to our rescue. You can imagine leaving this place even for a short call is difficult,” Amina said.
“When you try to hurt these animals the owner shows up from nowhere and it becomes a quarrel,” she noted.
Mohamed Abdi a taxi driver said the only solution lies in the county askaris rounding up the animals and the owners forced to part with hefty fines.
While some have blamed the prevailing drought for the hundreds of livestock walking in the streets others blame the owners for pure negligence and don’t care attitude.
“Let nobody tell you that these animals are freely roaming the town as a result of drought. Why then is it that when it has rained you will still find the animals around. This is a classic case of owners deciding not to take care of their animals,” he said.
“They must either confine their animals as zero grazing or take them to the rural areas for grazing. They cannot use the market, schools and roads to graze their animals. What they are doing is very unfortunate,” he added.
By Jacob Songok