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Rumuruti livestock traders lament lack of basic amenities

Livestock farmers seeking to sell their stocks at Rumuruti county market have decried lack of basic amenities at the market.

The farmers, who also have to contend with lack of pasture and water for their animals want the county government of Laikipia to construct toilets and supply the market with water.

Speaking in Rumuruti town, where they are forced to hold their stocks under harsh conditions, to an extent of losing them as they wait for potential buyers, the traders noted that supply of water to the market would assist in affording their livestock a drink.

The market is currently experiencing increased number of people who have flocked the County to buy cattle, goats and sheep at cheap prices as locals seek to offload their stock due to drought. This livestock business earns Laikipia County millions in revenue weekly.

Marine Ole Kamoyo from Narok said they faced a challenge of getting toilets since the County government did not factor the amenities when putting up paddocks and fences. The animal owners and buyers are forced to seek water for animals from the nearest river that is almost two kilometers away.

“The animals arrive here either on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and go without water as they wait for the market day that is on Thursdays.

“When we buy them, we are forced to buy fodder and water from vendors or travel to the river to fetch water, as we prepare the animals for the long journey to Narok and other markets,” said Kamoyo.

Ole Kamoyo regretted that the County collected revenue with little reciprocation saying by providing toilets and piped water, the herders would be saved huge losses.

Laikipia West Deputy County Commissioner Hezron Nyamberi said it was wrong for the County government to allow use of the market without sanitation facilities and piped water.

“They (County) should do something or we shut the market,” the DCC said.

The traders paid Shs.100 as market levy for every cow, even when they fail to get buyers a move that they said further deprived them of their meagre earnings.

The traders also want the County government to make provision for putting up decent eateries at the market saying currently foods are cooked in the open at a dusty section next to paddocks.

By Anne Sabuni

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