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Herders sign peace pact as drought bites

RIFT VALLEY
By By JAMES MUNYEKI | July 26th 2013

By JAMES MUNYEKI

Pastoral communities in Samburu and Laikipia counties have signed a peace deal as those from the drought-hit Samburu move into Laikipia in search of pasture.

The communities vowed to uphold peace and avoid clashes like has been the case in the past.

The meeting was convened by nominated Senator Naisula Lesuuda and Samburu Women Representative Maison Leshomo, who started peace building efforts after the 2009 massacre.

Elders from Samburu and Pokot communities yesterday held a peace meeting at Muguarak village near Kanampiu with morans moving to Laikipia in search of pasture.

Close to 40 members of Samburu community were killed in the region in September 2009 following a fight over pasture with the Pokot.

But this time round, the elders insisted on peace and mutual understanding on how to share the dwindling resources with the local people.

“We want to make sure peace is not interrupted by the people coming to this area to look for pasture. That is why we have signed the agreement,” said Ms Leshomo.

She also expressed optimism the Jubilee Government would involve marginalised communities in national undertakings in order to boost peace.

“Let nobody mislead you with sideshows that our Government is not performing. We must support President Uhuru Kenyatta as a community to bring development to our region,” she said.

Ms Lesuuda said her Bill, aimed at promoting the welfare of the pastoralist communities, has gone through the first reading in Parliament.

She said the aim of the Bill is to ensure pastoralism becomes a profitable venture that will promote the lifestyle of communities and economic growth of the Government.

“We want modern slaughter houses to be established. Cows must no longer be kept just as part of a cultural undertaking or prestige but a really profitable venture. The country has always been sitting on ‘gold’ that must be exploited. Botswana has been doing it. Why not us?” she posed.

Samburu Governor Moses Kasaine Lenolkulal  has in the past admitted insecurity is a major cause for concern and needs urgent solution.

He regretted that cattle rustlers have continued to spread fear in the region, with high cases of murder and theft of livestock.

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