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Illegal herders evicted from Tsavo

By Renson Mnyamwezi | July 31st 2015 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

VOI: Locals have driven out thousands of heads of cattle that have been grazing in the Tsavo National Park and community farms.

The residents said they decided to take action after they discovered that local security personnel were colluding with the herders. During the operation, a total of more than 3,000 heads of cattle were driven out of the world-renown park.

The residents complained that the illegal grazing was not only affecting tourism activities in the county, but was also responsible for widespread environmental degradation.

"We have decided to drive out livestock that were grazing illegally in the park. We found out that provincial administration is doing little to save the fragile environment, while the local Kenya Wildlife Service personnel look away," an environmentalist Gamaliel Mwangi said.

The conservationist who heads Mwabu, a community-based human rights organisation said livestock from North Eastern region and as far as neighbouring Narok and Kajiado counties had invaded the area in search of water and pasture.

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Areas worst hit by illegal grazing are Alia, Nyolo, Godoma, Mgama, Mwaranginyi and Manao community farms.

"The herders have been invading local farms with the full knowledge of the police and provincial administration officials. This has given criminals an opportunity to kill wildlife," claimed Mr Gamaliel.

He at the same time complained that hundreds of elephants are fleeing from Tsavo National park to community farms because of the poachers and presence of illegal grazers.

The jumbos, the conservationist noted are killing people, besides destroying property.

Mwatate OCPD Francis Mwangi said the security committee had suspended the operation because majority of the herders had signed lease agreements with local ranchers.

"It is true that the security operation took place. We have decided to suspend it after the herders asked for more time to peacefully remove their livestock from farms," he said

"The Government has actually done a lot to secure lives and property of the local community," clarified the OCPD.

Tsavo National Park herders cattle raiders
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