We want illegal herders out, say Laikipia ranchers

Laikipia Jennings ranch chief security officer Samuel Lokurchan, who was shot by illegal grazers at his home by suspected illegal grazers. [Mercy Kahenda]

The Government has been accused of failing to flush out illegal herders from private ranches.

Local ranchers said invasion of their properties by grazers was causing them losses running into millions of shillings. 

Herders, mainly from Samburu, Baringo and Isiolo counties, have invaded local ranches in search of water and pasture.

Lucy Jennings of Jennings Farm said the Government has ignored their pleas to flush the herders from their properties.

“It is unfortunate herders continue grazing on our ranches. Why is the Government reluctant to kick them out? Who will compensate us for the losses we are suffering?” posed Jennings.

Last month, a group of illegal herders shot and killed Jennings’ chief security officer.

Martin Evans of Ol Maisor Ranch said they were enjoying peace until late last year when the herders invaded their farms.

“We are asking the Government to find a lasting solution to this problem,” said Martins, who is also the chairman of Laikipia Farmers Association.

Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Mongo Chimwaga (above) said the Government had asked ranchers to discuss with the the grazers the best way to resolve the dispute.

“Most of the pastoralists invaded the ranches during drought. The ranchers were to agree with the herders which portions of their farms they would allow them to graze their animals and for how long,” said Chimwaga.