Keep off ILRI land in Kapiti Plains, grabbers told
Machakos County government has asked land buyers not to be duped by conmen and land grabbers targeting the 32,000 acre International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) property in the Kapiti Plains.
Over the past weeks, illegal attempts to grab the land have escalated at Kapiti Plains Estate now known as Kapiti research station, located about 60 km southeast of Nairobi along Mombasa Road in Machakos County.
“The public should refrain from any form of invasion of the property and purchase or sale off Kapiti land. This is a high level of conmanship where our people are being fleeced and misguided by certain politicians and conmen who are focused on getting rich at the expense of the ordinary mwananchi yearning to own land,” Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua cautioned.
The governor said this after chairing a meeting on Monday between ILRI officicials led by CEO, Dr. Jimmy Smith, the Machakos security team and the county government on the ongoing unlawful occupation of the land.
“The meeting has resolved that the Court order on the ILRI land will be fully enforced unless another injunction that revokes the initial injunction is presented. There are ongoing court cases on the land, and an injunction halting any works or invasion on the said land is in force,” Governor Mutua said.
The not-for-profit international research centre headquartered in Kenya said Kapiti has been wholly owned, managed and operated by them for three decades.
“The groups involved in the illegal sales have started trespassing and building illegal structures on Kapiti research station.No land at Kapiti is for sale, ” ILRI said.
ILRI is a member of the CGIAR system of 15 global agricultural research centres and their partners conducting research for a food-secure future.
For several decades, ILRI has been working closely with national governments and ministries in conducting research to improve the livelihoods and lives of small-scale livestock keepers in Africa and Asia.
“Kapiti land and facilities are operated solely for public good research; this is not a commercial ranch and ILRI makes no profit from it,” the organisation said.
The 80 ILRI staff working at Kapiti maintain for research purposes about 2,500 head of Kenya’s native and popular Boran beef cattle, 1,200 native Kenyan red Maasai and exotic Dorper sheep, and 250 Galla goats, which are native to northern Kenya.
The different breeds and types of livestock are kept at Kapiti to conduct research on animal health and productivity for the benefit of millions of farmers, herders and pastoralists in Kenya and across Africa and Asia.
As one of the few as yet unfragmented rangelands in the region, Kapiti also is a safe haven for large numbers of wildlife.
Serving as a critical wildlife corridor for migratory mammals, Kapiti helps to maintain the fragile and unique Athi-Kapiti-Kaputei ecosystem of Kenya’s Southern Conservancy Area, with the internationally acclaimed Nairobi National Park being a centrepiece of this ecosystem.
Over the last 15 years , research at Kapiti has continued to expand in both volume and scope and now includes livestock feeding trials and environmental assessments of African livestock production systems.
“The latter investigations are determining the first-ever reliable estimations of greenhouse gas emissions from African livestock and ways for livestock keepers to better cope with, and mitigate, climate change,” ILRI said.
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