The owners of livestock found loitering in Narok town risk being arrested and prosecuted in court, the Narok County Commissioner (CC), Samuel Kimiti has warned.
The CC said despite several warnings and meetings in his office with the livestock owners, the number of cows, goats, dogs and donkeys is still on the raise in the busy town.
He was speaking on Tuesday at the head of departments meeting where he observed the animals are a big nuisance to the county that mainly depend on tourism for economic growth as they excrete along the town streets making it unconducive for foreigners.
“We cannot purport to be promoting tourism in the county yet the ratio of animals to human beings in the town is almost same. We have to enforce laws that forbid the animals in town,” said Kimiti.
Those who attended the meeting on Service Delivery held in the Commissioner’s Boardroom unanimously agreed to sweep livestock out of town. “We are asking residents to withdraw their animals from the town and take them home where they can graze comfortably without disturbing anyone. The only animals that we will allow in town are those on transit to other areas,” said the administrator.
He observed the animals can easily spread diseases and cause insecurity as they sleep on major highways interfering with traffic flow. “Market women have been complaining of their goods being eaten and destroyed by the animals. This is completely unacceptable,” he added.
The Narok Chief Executive in charge of Trade, Vivian Seriti echoed the commissioner’s sentiments saying the county wardens will be on standby to seize any animal within the town.
Ms. Seriti who is hardly a month old in the docket said eliminating the animals from the busy town will be one of her key agenda in her tenure in the trade department. “It is not a strange thing to find tens of cows lying at the middle of major highways causing traffic snarl ups or even walking along the streets of Narok Town without anyone attending to them. We have to stop this,” she reiterated.
During last year’s Jamhuri Day celebrations, Narok Town Member of County Assembly, Bernard Torome asked the cow owners to withdraw them from the town to enable traders conduct their businesses with ease.
“I know the Maasai community love livestock. I too have many cows but there is no day I will bring them to town. I request everyone with a livestock loitering aimlessly in town to withdraw them and go milk them at their homes,” said Torome.
Torome said he will present a bill in the Narok county assembly that will see livestock farmers whose animals will be found loitering in urban centres fined heavily and even jailed.
He said the bill if enacted to law will also seek to curb livestock from grazing in garbage dumpsites, public roadsides and gazzetted forests.
However, many politicians avoid the topic, as they fear being on the wrong side with the Maasai Community, who are dominant in the town and hence lose their support during elections.
By Ann Salaton