The government has warned herders invading private farms to graze their livestock in Laikipia County that stern action will be taken against them.
Laikipia County Commissioner (CC) Joseph Kanyiri said that authorities were on the lookout for armed invaders mostly from neighbouring counties who have invaded people’s farms and conservancies with their livestock and were grazing in the areas forcefully.
Speaking on Thursday in Nanyuki town after flagging off a 20-tonne consignment of relief food for distribution within the County, Kanyiri noted that the invading herders had already invaded Il Ngw’esi community conservancy and parts of Mukogodo forest.
“Our officers are on the ground in the affected areas and a thorough operation to flush them out will be carried out soon,” Kanyiri warned.
He added that pastoralists wishing to graze their livestock in private farms and conservancies should adhere to the grazing guidelines by the owners where they are charged a certain amount of money per animal to graze.
“We shall not let herders graze their animals with impunity on people’s farms, the government has a responsibility to protect private property,” the CC said.
The County Commissioner further said that over 15,000 residents were in need of food assistance and that the relief food would be distributed to all the six sub counties in the area.
“Each sub county will receive 360 bags of beans and 200 bags of rice that will be distributed to the most deserving cases and overseen by our administrators,” he said.
Kanyiri further said that the government was buying livestock for slaughter in order to feed starving residents under the livestock offtake programme overseen by the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA).
“Laikipia has not received adequate rainfall for the last two years and there has been a 95 percent crop failure and the grazing pastures have also been negatively affected,” he said.
By Martin Munyi