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Livestock farmers decry reduced meetings

People living in areas prone to livestock theft in Meru County have appealed to the county commissioner to intensify surveillance during the festivities to contain livestock theft by people from neighbouring counties.

Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Njuri Ncheke leader, Linus Kathera said the number of security meetings in the areas had drastically reduced, saying their neighbours were likely to take advantage of end of year festivities to steal livestock.

Kathera said residents of Tigania and Igembe Sub Counties were the most affected saying those living in other areas of the county were more into crop farming and zero grazing due to favourable soils and adequate rainfall received annually.

He also appealed to the concerned to ensure victims of human-wildlife conflict were compensated in line with the law, saying some cases were taking too long to be approved after victims had submitted all the required documentary evidence.

The elder, cited a case in Buuri Sub County where a person has continued to live in poverty after he was incapacitated after being attacked by a stray elephant in his farm five years ago.

Kathera said Salim Ibrahim has to depend on his wife who earns a living from manual jobs in the village while his children were not able to remain in school due to lack of basic provisions.

Salim said the attack left him with five broken ribs among other injuries, saying he remained in hospital for several months adding that assessment done by KWS officials guided by medical reports recommended a Sh. 3 million compensation.

Kathera however, urged people living near forests and wildlife conservation areas to refrain from provoking the animals as they invade their habitats in search of fuel and timber.

By  Margaret  Makaa

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