Drama as herders storm anti-stock theft unit in Naivasha
There was drama in Naivasha after irate members of the Maasai community stormed an anti-stock theft unit to protest the continued detention of their livestock.
The herdsmen complained that 56 heads of cattle that were grazing in the area due to the ongoing drought were detained for two days near KARLO farm in Naivasha.
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The irate pastoralists threatened to forcefully drive away their livestock, some of which looked frail after going for two days without water.
Emotions ran high after it was allegedly discovered that ten of the animals valued at over Ksh300,000 were missing and the officers from the anti-stock theft unit could not account for them.
According to the owner of the livestock, Isaac Siamento, the animals were detained on Friday in unclear circumstances by the security officers, adding that he had been forced to lease land in the area to graze and water his animals in the wake of the biting drought.
“The officers from anti-stock theft unit are demanding Ksh1,000 for every cow detained and this is illegal as the animals were not on private land,” he said.
Silas Ole Risho, a witness, said they would not leave the patrol unit until all the livestock were accounted for.
He admitted that the ongoing drought had taken its toll on the livestock and called on the government to offer them support before they lose their animals.
“We are concerned as the livestock have been detained for two days without food and water and some could die,” he said.
For the last couple of weeks, the number of pastoralists seeking pasture in Naivasha from the nearby counties of Narok and Kajiado has increased, with the most affected areas, according to Naivasha Sub-County Commissioner Isaac Masinde, being Mai Mahiu, Longonot, Moi Ndabi, Ndabibi and Karati.
Speaking last week, the commissioner said that the situation could get worse in the coming month if it failed to rain, adding that some communities were already feeling the effects of the drought.
He noted that tens of pastoralists in search of pasture or heading to the Aberdares were arriving in Naivasha with hundreds of their animals.
“We have seen [more] livestock mainly from Narok and Kajiado counties and we are asking the owners to respect private land,” he said.