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County Bans Grazing in Mt Marsabit Forest to Stem Rustling

The government has banned grazing in Mt Marsabit forest as a measure to stem insecurity driven by cattle rustling in Marsabit County.

The move comes at a time when the local leadership fronted by Governor Mohamud Ali call for re-establishment of the Kenya police reservists (KPR) to compliment the work of the security agencies.

Marsabit county commissioner Paul Rotich while addressing wananchi at Moi girls secondary school playground after reading this year Mashujaa day presidential speech said the decision to ban grazing in the forest was aimed at denying cattle rustlers a hideout.

Mr Aile Ogom, a retired primary school teacher from Kargi location in Laisamis constituency is presented with a hero’s medal by Marsabit conty commisioner Paul Rotich awarded by the head of state for championing the fight against FGM and early marriages. With him is the chairman of the Marsabit North peace committee Mr Diba Halakhe who also received a commendation for speaheading peacebuilding and harmonious coexistence between pastoralist communities that live in Laisamis and North Horr constituencies.

Mr Rotich said that investigations had revealed that armed cattle rustlers took advantage of the dense forest which also doubles as a national game park to stage raids to steal livestock and attack innocent herders.

The county commissioner pointed out that apart from being the main cause of insecurity in the county, the retrogressive practice had led to the damage of a perimeter electric fence being erected by KWS to ward off wild animals from areas of human settlement.

Mr Rotich noted that a lot of resources were being used in the conservation efforts of the game park and the damage of the fence was negating made in addressing the problem of human-wildlife conflict.

“Livestock keepers were given refuge into the forest because of drought but the county security team has reached a decision that herders should drive their animals out of the forest for security purposes” said the CC adding that pastoralists’ communities have enough pasture in their grazing fields because there has been rain.

On his part, Governor Ali said that KPRs played an important complimentary role in maintaining law and order and urged the government to consider the restoration of the service.

Governor Ali announced that his administration was ready to provide for the upkeep of the reservists whom he said were effective in dealing with the cattle rustling menace.

The governor also announced that his government was considering initiating the kazi Mtaani program in outlying towns within the county that were not catered for by the national hygiene program which only focused on municipalities.

Marsabit governor Mohamud Ali. He said that the Building Bridges initiative will get support if it contains reforms that embolds nationalism and advances the gains of devolution.

He said that besides offering the youth with jobs in towns like North Horr, Moyale and |Laisamis, the move would promote environmental conservation and protection for improved standards of living of residents.

“This would go a long way in pacifying youths from these areas who feel that they were left out of the national program because we want them to embrace patriotism as well” the governor said.

Concerning the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), Governor Ali said the move to unify and build tranquility of the nation was a welcome move adding that the initiative would get support from Marsabit residents if its tenets were anchored on inclusivity.

The governor pointed out that the awaited document had created a lot of anxiety among wananchi because it was expected to touch on their lives hence the need for it to embolden nationalism.

“We as Marsabit County will be keen to examine its contents because we shall support any reform that will bring us together, build on and advances the gains of devolution” stated Governor Ali.

Also present at the national event which was conducted under very strict Covid-19 protocols saw two men residents receive decorations from the head of state for snading out as champions of peace, anti-female genital mutilation, early marriages.

Also present was the deputy governor Solomon Gubo among other dignitaries.

By Sebastian Miriti

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