Posted on October 11, 2012 with No Comments
Posted on Oct 11, 2012
Leisan Lesengei and Morri Lereete are Elders of their community reflecting on the terrible sense of injustice created by these evictiions.
The Samburu of Kisargei, in Kenya’s Laikipia district, were brutally evicted from the lands they call home after the land was sold to the AfricanWildlife Foundation (AWF). AWF – with funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – says it bought the land on the understanding that no-one lived there. When the Samburu protested and took the matter to the courts the land was hurriedly ‘gifted’ to the government. This is the third in a series of text and video based testimonials produced by Jo Woodman of Survival International, Zoe Young – freelance film maker and Nicholas Winer of Just Conservation.
Leisan Lesengei, one of the strong elders among the community, suffered greatly during the evictions. He lost many of his animals, one of his daughters was raped and his family have been left with nothing.
Morri Lereete, an elder and father of 20, was saddened to have no place other than the floor of the court room to sit and talk and lives in hope of returning to his land so he can be a ‘human being again’.
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Leisan Lesengei: Thank you. It is a long time since I came to this land. During the drought, when the government issued the yellow maize, I came there. I was a young man, a very strong man. Since I came there I have married twice. You can see me now. Now I am old, and like this I have been chased out of my land. I am so happy because I look around and see that I have so many friends from elsewhere coming to support my plight.
This land means a lot to me. That is where I live. Where you live is the place that is attached to you. I have my children, my animals, my grazing. Water. All this I get from my land. I am a married man, but now that I am an old man I have so many problems. As a result of the eviction I have suffered a lot. My wives do not have manyattas – they have not even anywhere to give birth – they give birth under the trees. They don’t have many animals. Some were taken, some were chased away and eaten by wild animals. I am not settled. Where I am now I am not settled.
One day I lost 100 goats. The government took 100 goats in just one day. That day, when I lost my animals, one of my daughters was raped. I reported it. Among the problems we have now is this: some of the husbands have abandoned their wives because of the allegations of rape. Now their husbands will not go to them. They fear that the women will have disease. I don’t want to say more about that.
It is the soldiers who are doing this. Of course, there are other people who are taking away our land. They use the soldiers to do this. Those people who are taking our land they say that they are taking our land so that they can look after the wild animals because you, you can’t do it.
These people, their link is Ol Pajeta. But it could be Moi on one side and other people. But they are using Ol Pajeta conservancy and the soldiers to give us all these problems. How can it be that animals are given better care and attention than human beings? No, we never kill those animals. We live with those animals.
I say to them: Leave our land! This land is where we have our children, where we keep our animals. We have nowhere else to do. And if there is a way that you can talk to them to keep them off our land, please talk to them.
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Morri Lereete: I am an old man, some of my sons are almost his age [pointing to Richard], when I came there I had only one child. Now I have 20 children, four wives. I was looking for good grazing land, I’d heard that the land there was good grazing. So slowly I came there.
When I arrived, there was an open space, good grazing space and I lived there. A group of us came, several groups all came together there and made a community. There were some Turkanas there burning charcoal but we were all Samburu.
Since the time that I came there, I have lived there, until the evictions. It was the government that evicted us. I say to them: leave us. We have suffered a lot. We have lost lives, we have lost animals. Since we have been thrown out we have been treated like we are not human beings. We want to be like human beings again. I don’t feel like a human being because, for my children I have nothing to give them, no school to take them to, no water. Nothing. I am just left there. Nobody has bothered to take care of us.
What human beings need in life – I don’t get. The only thing I have is what I can get from my animals. I lost so many, so many of them. I am left with very few. Some were rounded up and taken, some – when the helicopters were circling – they were scared away and lost to wild animals. I cannot mention about what happened, the rapes. Some women miscarried because of the scare of the eviction. There were children who were scared off and got lost and eaten by wild animals. And I am helpless – there is nowhere I can report this. There should be somewhere I can report this. So now I am a desperate man.
Interviews conducted by Jo Woodman
 A team from Survival International and the Centre for International Human Rights Law and Advocacy attended the March 2012 hearing.
Note: These interviews have been edited for purposes of brevity and clarity.
More information on the Samburu evictions at:
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Posted on October 4, 2012 with No Comments
Posted on Oct 04, 2012
Esther’s house was burned down in the first eviction and she has a message for AWF
The Samburu of Kisargei, in Kenya’s Laikipia district, were brutally evicted from the lands they call home after the land was sold to the AfricanWildlife Foundation (AWF). AWF – with funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – says it bought the land on the understanding that no-one lived there. When the Samburu protested and took the matter to the courts the land was hurriedly ‘gifted’ to the government. This is the second in a series of text and video based testimonials produced by Jo Woodman of Survival International, Zoe Young – freelance film maker and Nicholas Winer of Just Conservation.
Esther Lekuchula has lived in Kisargei (Eland Downs) since 1984 – two of her four children were born there, and both her daughters were married there. It is, simply, home. Her community has been left stranded on the edge of the land waiting the outcome of a slow-moving case in which they are pitted against the conservation charities, the government and the former president, Daniel arap Moi, who owned the land. At one hearing we interviewed members of the community who had travelled to the court in the hope of justice and the ability to return to their home. Those we interviewed were devastated at the loss of their land, traumatised by the violence of the evictions and deeply concerned for their – and their children’s – future
We came to Eland Downs from Samburu [District] at the time that they were giving the Yellow Maize [during a famine]. We stayed there without interference until we were evicted. Life was good. At that place there were no diseases. We had water. Grazing was good. We really lived well until the eviction.
In 1984 when we were coming, before we came to the land, across the River, I gave birth to Ryeli and then I had two more children, Sylvana and Sati – they were born on the land. All are married now. A forth child was born outside the land when we had to move out for a time because of the drought.  When it rained we brought the child with us back to Eland Downs. One girl that was born there, she was married there, she has an identity card from that place.
I love that place so much. It is a warm place, free of diseases, there’s no interference with the grazing, it is a plain place. I love it there.
We moved from corner to corner in that place. Depending on the rain we moved from corner to corner for the grazing.
When we first came, there were charcoal burners there, we would sometimes find them when we moved our animals. We would go, graze our animals and see them burning their charcoal there. After some time we chased them away – we did not like their burning charcoal so we chased them away. The only reason that you can find any trees there is because we chased those charcoal burners away. They all left and that is why there is some forest there.
The first eviction … they burned our manyattas. We ran into the bush and stayed there all the day with the animals and the children. At night, we came back again to see. We made shelters with ‘bulletin papers’ – just paper houses for some shelter. In the morning we again ran away to the bush to hide and see if anyone will come back again to look for us.
I don’t understand who sent the soldiers – a large number of soldiers were sent. We don’t know but we suspect that the community manager at Ol Pajeta is behind it and the DC [District Commissioner of Laikipia District] and also the police. They were in uniforms. [Why did they move you out?] They are interested in that land.
Some came by air. The first time there were two helicopters – a blue one and a white one. And then there was a big number of them that came in trucks. Two groups came – one by air and one in the trucks. There were so many. We were so scared. All the good animals – they were getting them out of there and taking them away. They were beating people, burning our houses. All the elders, anyone they found they beat: girls, women, moran, everyone. We were all running away to the bushes.
We have suffered from that time. We still have problems because where we have gone when we were moved out we don’t have firewood, good grazing, we don’t have water. The problems that we have are so many, but I want to name just some: we have no school, no hospital and no water – those are the biggest problems.
Please pass a message to everyone, anyone – take a message to the government of Kenya.
Ask them: why are you punishing me? All of these problems are to do with you. What do you want me to do?
[To those responsible for moving us out:] You! You must give us back our land because you know that it is ours. That word, Kisargei, that comes from our grand grand grand parents – that land belongs to us, and you have no claim over it. That place you are claiming, it is mine, so why do you want us to go? Give us back the soil of Kisargei.
The only thing to say is to give us back that land. That land is good for my children. All my daughters were married in that place. My sons were circumcised there and are living there with their families – they have no other place to go that is their home.
Interview conducted by Jo Woodman
 A team from Survival International and the Centre for International Human Rights Law and Advocacy attended the March 2012 hearing.
Note: This interview has been edited for purposes of brevity and clarity.
More information on the Samburu evictions at:
Posted on September 27, 2012 with No Comments
Nakuru Lemiruni’s six children were all born in Kisargei and says she ‘cannot think of any other land as home’. She wanted to send a message to AWF. This is it.
The Samburu of Kisargei, in Kenya’s Laikipia district, were brutally evicted from the lands they call home after the land was sold to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). AWF – with funds from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – says it bought the land on the understanding that no-one lived there. When the Samburu protested and took the matter to the courts the land was hurriedly ‘gifted’ to the government. This is the first in a series of text and video based testimonials produced by Jo Woodman of Survival International, Zoe Young – freelance film maker and Nicholas Winer of Just Conservation.
Nakuro Lemiruni, mother of six, was called to the witness box early in the case. Her community has been left stranded on the edge of the land waiting the outcome of a slow-moving case in which they are pitted against the conservation charities, the government and the former president, Daniel arap Moi, who owned the land. At one hearing we interviewed members of the community who had travelled to the court in the hope of justice and the ability to return to their home. Those weinterviewed were devastated at the loss of their land, traumatised by the violence of the evictions and deeply concerned for their – and their children’s – future
How come I have been told to move out of my land without being given any reason?
What mistake have I made in this land that I’m being evicted from my own land?
The person who claims to be the owner of this land, what has he been doing all this time on this land? Where has he been? Where is he? Has he ever been there?
How can he claim that this land belongs to him when he has never stepped foot on that land? He has never done anything in that land.
Or is it because this person who claims to be the owner of this land is the president and those of us who have no education, who are helpless, we are being moved out for him to get our land?
It is very clear that the forces that were forcing me out were on the side of the President.
On my side I am a poor person, helpless. Nobody cares. No one wants to listen to me, to give me time to hear why I claim that this land is mine. I am just being evicted.
And now that I am almost finished, I’ve lost loved ones, I’ve lost my livestock, I’ve been kicked out. I want to be told: what is my future? It is the government who is doing this so, what is my future? After all of this suffering, where should I go?
I want to tell whoever is behind all this, you are finishing me. You have killed my people. You have taken my land. You have taken my livestock. You stop it. And tell me what to do and where to go next. I am now helpless.
It is clear that this case is biased. All the forces – those who evicted us, the court, they are all against me. I don’t have money to come to court every time. I don’t have the money to pay the lawyers.
I want to settle. For a long time now we have been suffering like this. I just want to be able to settle. But where? Where should I go? Will my life continue like this forever? That land is my only home. The only place I can call home. At this age, I cannot make anywhere else home. I only know my land.
Interview conducted by Jo Woodman.
Posted on June 6, 2012 with No Comments
Monday, June 4 2012
By R. ADAMSON & D. NIERENBERG
While indigenous territories make up just 20 per cent of the Earth’s land area, they shelter 80 per cent of all biodiversity on the planet.
But indigenous peoples, in Kenya and around the globe, are often excluded from critical decision-making involving their traditional land, water, or mineral resources – an exclusion that results in both resource depletion and marginalisation of the communities.
In late 2011, the Samburu of Laikipia District were evicted from their traditional land. Two conservation organisations, the Nature Conservancy and the African Wildlife Foundation, purchased the Samburu’s land for $2 million to create a depopulated national park.
Unfortunately, because the land officially belonged to former President Moi, the Samburu had no voice in the sale of their land, nor did they reap any financial benefits.
Since their eviction and the burning of their homes, approximately 2,000 Samburu families have become squatters on the edge of their traditional territory, while another 1,000 have moved to towns.
Indigenous peoples should have the right to give Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) whenever an action may affect their lands, values, or rights.
The principle of FPIC states that anyone who wishes to use customary land belonging to indigenous communities must enter into open, non-coercive negotiations with them.
Private corporations, national governments, and even entire industries, have begun enforcing the principle of FPIC for indigenous communities, but all too often, groups like the Samburu are forced to give up their traditional ways of life in the name of an external group’s financial or material gain. This does not have to happen.
In other communities in Kenya, indigenous people are receiving the appropriate tools and support to thrive, while stewarding their traditional land.
First Peoples Worldwide, an indigenous-led development organisation, operates a small-grants fund to help indigenous people maintain economic and cultural self-determination.
The Keepers of the Earth Fund issues grants for amounts between $250 and $20,000 for projects in land conservation, climate change, and food security.
The Luo People of Nyatike used a grant from the Fund to instal 250 food gardens and five water-catchment systems, boosting their food sovereignty and self-sufficiency.
Before that, women and girls would have to either travel long distances to draw clean water or to use water from nearby rivers, which are polluted.
And despite significant health issues, including high rates of chronic malnutrition, the Luo are improving their socio-economic standing and building relations with the broader community.
With proper forms of support, such as the Keepers of the Earth Fund, indigenous people can maintain their economic and cultural self-determination in the 21st century.
Ms Rebecca Adamson is the founder of First Peoples Worldwide while Ms Danielle Nierenberg is the director of the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project.
Posted on January 27, 2012 with No Comments
|A Samburu girl from Kenya. The tribe has suffered violent evictions.
The German travel industry has called on Kenya to find a solution to the recent evictions of the Samburu tribe, and warned its position as a tourist destination could be damaged. Germans currently spend more money abroad than any other nation.
In a letter to President Mwai Kibaki, the head of the German Travel Association (known by its German initials DRV) expressed his ‘great concern’ at the current situation in Kenya’s Laikipia district.
Read the letter to Kenya’s President (pdf, 442 KB)
A series of violent evictions by Kenya’s police have forced thousands of Samburu from the area known as Eland Downs. Houses were burnt, people assaulted and livestock stolen.
|Samburu children from Kenya.
© Samburu Watch/Survival
The evictions follow the purchase of the land by two conservation charities – The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).
They have promoted the 17,100 hectares as a chance for Kenya to create its ‘newest national park’, and ‘stimulate tourism’.
DRV’s President Jürgen Büchy said its members considered Kenya ‘an important destination’, but that it was crucial tourism was carried out sustainably.
He said, ‘tourism development at the expense of human rights and local communities…does not find the support of the German travel industry’.
The DRV represents 80 percent of Germany’s tour operators and travel agents. In 2010 Germans spent over 60 billion euros on foreign trips, more than any other nation.
Büchy called on Kenya’s government to allow the ‘Samburu to reinstall in the Eland Downs and to give them a part in the preservation of the wildlife in Laikipia.’
Kenya’s government has not yet responded to The German Travel Association.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ’It’s really encouraging the German travel industry is taking the issue of human rights in Kenya so seriously. It’s a stark warning to the Kenyan government that the international community will not tolerate human rights abuses in the name of tourism. The Samburu should be allowed to return to their land, and any tourism that occurs on that land should happen with their consent.’
|The burnt remains of Samburu homes in Kenya following police evictions
Read the entire story at http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/8041
Posted on December 13, 2011 with No Comments
A Kenyan tribe living near the area famous for its links to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement has been engulfed by violence after wildlife charities arranged to buy their land.
Kenya’s Laikipia district has been part of the traditional territory of the Samburu tribe for centuries until two US-based charities – The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) – agreed to pay $2 million for their land, which was officially owned by former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi.
Soon after, the Kenyan police began a series of brutal evictions of the tribe, burning their villages, killing and stealing their animals and assaulting men, women and children. Survival has recently received reports of an elder being shot ‘in cold blood’.
2,000 Samburu families now live in makeshift squats on the edge of the land and 1,000 others have been forced to relocate entirely.
Conditions are appalling, and resources scarce. A Channel 4 documentary caught on camera the extreme nature of these evictions in the Eland Downs.
The burnt remains of Samburu homes in Kenya following police evictions
© Channel 4 Dispatches
Kenya is a popular safari destination, which attracted the attention of Britain’s most famous Royals: in 2010, William proposed to Kate at a ranch just 40 miles away.
Following waves of violence from the police, the Samburu began legal proceedings against AWF and ex-President Moi, to plead for their rights to the land. A subsequent court demand for no further harassment of the Samburu has been ignored. Survival has recently received reports that women and children have been sleeping in the bush, despite heavy rains, terrified of police violence.
Although the case is still underway, AWF has recently ‘gifted’ the land to the Kenyan government in a move described by the Samburu as an ‘affront to the justice system’.
The Minister for Forestry and Wildlife said in Parliament, ‘this piece of land was donated to us … we accepted the donation. This is in keeping with the need to preserve our wildlife which is an economic cash cow to us.’
The land supports a wide variety of species, including rare zebras and black rhinos, and the head of AWF has described Laikipia’s protection as the perfect way to ‘stimulate tourism’.
One community leader said AWF’s actions go ‘against the very interests of Kenya’s children, who ironically, remain the best wildlife conservationists
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘That the Samburu have been driven from their homes in the name of conservation should be vigorously opposed by all who believe in fairness and justice. They simply want to live on and protect this land.’
Survival has written to the UN appealing for urgent action to be taken to put an end to the violence and provide assistance to the Samburu (Download letter, pdf, 75KB).
Survival has invited AWF to comment on the contents of this release, but has received no reply
Posted on June 1, 2011 with No Comments
MPs from arid and semi-arid parts of Kenya want President Kibaki to declare the drought ravaging some parts of the country a national disaster.
They said that the large-scale measures announced by the government to deal with the effects of the drought, which has largely affected Upper North Rift and North Eastern Province, had not worked and had actually proved to be less than those carried out in earlier situations.
Speaking under the auspices of the Pastoralists’ Parliamentary Group Wednesday, the MPs said conflicts over water have sprung around Kenya’s border with Sudan, between the Turkana and the Pokot and in Laikipia and Samburu North.
Group secretary general Ekwee Ethuro said declaration of a national disaster would enable the government to mobilise its machinery to have food delivered to the people.
The MPs made a similar pledge before Parliament went on a break last December, but they said the little that resulted from that plea was not enough.
“It is very unfortunate that the government has visited the areas, promised the people that something would be done for them but nothing has happened yet,” said Defence assistant minister Joseph Nkaissery.
Mandera East MP Mohammed Hussein Ali said the biggest problem in NEP is the supply of water, without which “people will soon be dying of thirst”.
Nominated MP Sophia Abdi Noor said the registration of students for national examinations would also be affected as parents are finding it hard to raise the money required as they cannot sell off their livestock.
Women and children are the hardest hit by the drought, she said, and the government should shoulder its responsibility and deal with the issue.
Posted on June 1, 2011 with No Comments
By AGGREY MUTAMBO, email@example.com
Posted Wednesday, June 1 2011
Lack of adequate rains has seen crops go dry, for example in Kalata village in Mwingi. Kenya’s food situation could worsen if urgent measures are not taken, an international organisation has warned June 1, 2011.
KENYA’S food situation could worsen if urgent measures are not taken, an international organisation warns.
Oxfam, a relief organisation which has been contributing to alleviate hunger in parts of the North Eastern region, said that Kenya, just like the entire African continent needed to devise a new food system to secure its future. In a programme launched Wednesday in Nairobi, the organisation seeks to collaborate with the government to address major issues associated with food scarcity.
“Africa and especially Kenya is capable of producing enough food to ensure all of our citizens have enough to eat. Yet every night, millions of people across the continent go to bed hungry,” said Irungu Houghton, Oxfam’s Pan Africa Director.
Oxfam blamed the incessant hungers in the country to poor and unfair land policies where the poor continue to live as squatters
“Food is about power – those with power and money can eat, those without cannot. Africa is abundant with resources, yet governments fail to invest effectively in its biggest resources – its people and its land,” added Mr Irungu.
The country’s food situation has plummeted in the recent years owing to insufficient rains and rough climatic changes. Kenya depends on rainfall for much of its farming and livestock keeping.
On Monday this week, President Kibaki declared the drought in various parts of the country a national disaster. He ordered the Treasury to facilitate urgent imports of maize to boost the country’s strategic grain reserves. He also announced that Sh1.6 billion would be allocated to The Water and Irrigation and Livestock ministries.
But Oxfam says that much more needs to be done, including changing the approach to farming. In the Programme dubbed ‘GROW’, Oxfam said it will try to educate the public on newer methods of farming and how to slow down climatic changes, meant to realise a world with less incidents of starvation.
But while climatic changes have contributed greatly to the situation, Kenya which is a signatory of the 2003 Maputo Declaration has not been following the treaty. The Agreement by African countries compels each to set aside not less than 10 per cent of its total national budget for Agricultural activities. However, since 2005, Kenya has averaged at 6 per cent.
In its latest report Growing a Better Future, the Organisation warned that the reckless nature of the government in not considering Agriculture as key to the economy has caused “decades of progress against hunger being reversed.”
In Kenya, lobby groups have been protesting what they called government’s negligence in protecting the general public from high fuel and food costs.
The Consumer Federation of Kenya and various other NGOs have in fact filed a case in the High Court seeking to declare those responsible as failures and to compel the government to stabilise the prices.
Posted on May 27, 2011 with No Comments
By PATRICK NZIOKA firstname.lastname@example.org and JOHN NJAGI email@example.com
Thursday, May 26 2011
Joseph Kanyi | NATION Ms Sedaro Lelebaa gives her children milk moments after a meeting with a team of lawyers from Kituo Cha Sheria on Tuesday. The family is part of the 3,000 squatters evicted from Kabarak Farm in Laikipia East last year. They are now living in makeshift tents made of polythene papers and sacks.
They are emaciated, and despite the fact that it is lunch hour, there are no indications they will have any meal.
They sleep on twigs on bare hard ground. Those who might be lucky spread dry hides on their tiny manyattas made of twigs and polythene paper. Normally manyattas are made of cow dung and rafters.
These are the squalid conditions the Samburu in Laipikia East live in.
They are internally displaced persons after eviction from the Karbarak Farm initially owned by retired President Daniel arap Moi.
The eviction is the subject of a case at the Nyeri High Court.
The tiny hovels have no privacy. One can see the outside from the inside making life difficult when it rains.
There is no single school for their children or health centres for their sick. According to them, they throw their dead in the bushes nearby since they have nowhere to bury them.
The Nation team that accompanied officials from Kituo cha Sheria on a fact-finding mission came face-to-face with the horrible conditions the close to 3,000 families are living under at the makeshift camp, adjacent to the Kabarak Farm. The camp has been their home for the last six months.
Women and young children dominate the camp after the men took off to graze their animals or to urban areas to seek jobs.
Ms Nakuro Lemeruni, 30, and a mother of five children, looks twice her age.
“If, indeed, there is anything like problems, then we have faced it all. Only God has kept us going,” she summed up the predicament.
The nearest health centre is in Nanyuki Town, more than 50 kilometres away.
The nearest water source, is a dam, she says. It is about three kilometres away, and they share its water with domestic and wild animals from the various conservancies in the area. As a result, most of them are suffering from numerous waterborne diseases.
“When an animal dies or is killed here, the government comes here in a big way, yet we have not seen any one come to our rescue,” says 59-year-old Jackson Parasian, a father of 23 children from two wives.
They also claim APs manning demand money in return for their animals when they stray back to the farm from where they were evicted.
They showed the Nation a list of names indicating the amount of money they had paid to get back their animals. The squatters particularly accuse the Special Programmes ministry of neglecting them.
They further take exception to the silence by political leaders in the area.
When contacted, the minister, Ms Esther Murugi said no one had brought to the attention of her ministry the plight of the squatters.
She had, however, directed officers in her ministry to work with the Provincial Administration now that the government has scaled up the amount of food for the Laikipia region.
Area MP Mwangi Kiunjuri regretted the situation and appealed to the government to ensure the people are supplied with relief food.
Kituo cha Sheria programme officer Simon Nzioka says they need urgent attention as the majority of them are suffering from typhoid and pneumonia for lack of clean drinking water and good shelter.
Meanwhile, a group of squatters from Laikipia County have appealed to the government to intervene in a dispute over a 485-acre plot of land in the area. More than 900 squatters say they were evicted from the land in 1989, and any attempts to return are met with resistance from police officers.
“Neither us (squatters) nor the developers are able to settle on the land,” said the chairman of the group Mr Godfrey Wanjohi.
The Kwa Mbuzi squatters claim they were allocated the land in 1963, following the country’s independence by the then Aberdares County Council, presently Laikipia County Council. However, most institutions that were associated with the land have declared no interest in it, leaving the squatters baffled as to who is behind their woes. To ensure the owners of the land do not succeed in occupying it, the squatters have resisted attempts to take over the land.
At one time, they took away building stones that had been taken there by unknown people.
The squatters, however do not have any documents saying they were given the land through a presidential directive. “During his development tour of Laikipia in 2006, President Kibaki directed that we be resettled in the land but that is yet to take place,” said Mr Wanjohi, displaying a compact disk containing the president’s speech during the tour. Claiming they had occupied the land for several years, the squatters now want the government to amicably settle the matter.
Posted on January 27, 2011 with No Comments
By HASSAN HUKA firstname.lastname@example.orgPosted Sunday, January 9 2011 at 22:08
Women wait for their turn to fetch water at Welmerer Borehole in Jarajilla division, Fafi district. In the past, severe drought has forced herders in northern Kenya to cross the border into Somalia in search of pasture and water. Photo/FILE
150,000 in northern Kenya risk starving as food crisis bites
Children under five years, pregnant women and the elderly bear the brunt of food insecurity as devastating drought depletes resources in the region.
In Moyale town, two children below five years were admitted to the district hospital over severe malnutrition, according to the Kenya Red Cross Society report on the drought in the Upper Eastern.
In Marsabit North District, unconfirmed reports said that two elderly herders had died of starvation. Relief agencies have already started distributing food in the area to avert a crisis.
A Red Cross report indicates that majority of residents in northern Kenya face starvation following massive crop failure in the last three planting seasons.
There have also been reports of animal deaths in the region due to drought. “Residents in Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu and Moyale are on food relief assistance, which is not enough. Locals have deployed coping mechanisms of skipping one meal a day.
In Marti, Samburu North District, pastoral households do not prepare lunch except porridge for children,” says the report.
In Moyale, Marsabit County, the price of a kilo of maize shot from Sh25 to Sh40 while beans prices rose from Sh50 to Sh70 a kilo.
The Red Cross report says that locals use unsafe drinking water from shallow wells in Ethiopia. The water is supplied by vendors at Sh60 per 20 litre jerrycan. Most residents cannot afford it.
“The situation is so bad such that water trucking for human consumption has commenced in most parts of the region.
In Moyale, the most affected areas that are already under water trucking are Amballo, Garba, Iladu, Watiti, Dirdima, Funan Qumbi, and Baden Rero, and Badana Garadida in Isiolo.
In Marsabit branch that comprises five districts, Burgabo borehole is currently overstretched,” said Upper Eastern disaster management officer Bitacha Sora.
On his part, Actionaid project coordinator in Isiolo County Mr Muhamed Ahmed said:
“We distribute cereals, porridge, cooking oil and salt to locals according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation standards but distribution will be extended to other areas if the Kenya food security steering group assesses the situation and determines if it is possible to do so.”