Residents lament over insecurity around Kabolet forest

Residents living near Kabolet forest want National Police Reservists (NPR) deployed. [iStockphoto]

Residents bordering the Kabolet forest in Trans Nzoia county have appealed to the national government to address rising insecurity, including cattle rustling, by arming chiefs and deploying National Police Reservists (NPR). 

John Njuguna, a local leader, said the dense vegetation cover of the forest is a haven for criminals. 

"The situation is getting out of hand. Our people are living in fear, and they are losing their livestock at an alarming rate. We have appealed to the government for help on numerous occasions, but nothing has been done," Njuguna lamented. 

Kibe Gichora, another local leader, demanded swift action from the authorities to stop cattle rustling, which he said has crippled development and dairy farming in the region. 

"We live like birds, unable to rear cattle, chicken, goats, and sheep because they are stolen at night by heavily armed criminals who know the NPR were disarmed, leaving us vulnerable," Gichora said. 

Benson Kipseimo, a resident, said they have sleepless nights

Locals called on the government to put an electric fence around the forest to deter criminals. 

"We used to leave our doors unlocked, trusting in the safety of our close-knit community. Now, we are forced to live in fear. We need the government's support to restore peace and security," Kipseimo pleaded. 

The call to arm locals has sparked heated debate, with some arguing it is a recipe for disaster, while others see it as a necessary measure to protect themselves and their property. 

Kapsara Senior Chief Joram Kimani noted that five cattle were stolen and several shops have been broken into in the past three months. He urged the government to consider arming chiefs. 

"We, the chiefs, are the first line of defense for our communities. Providing us with the necessary tools, such as firearms, will enhance our ability to protect them," Kimani said.