Monthly Archives: September 2012


We, the umbrella of Pastoralists communities in Kenya strongly condemn the utterances made by Hon Ferdinand Waititu, Member of Parliament for Embakasi, on Monday the 24th September 2012 inciting Residents of kayole against the Maasai communities in those areas.

 The full force of the law should take effect against him and we strongly support the directives from the Minister for Provincial Administration and Internal Security Hon Katoo Ole Metito and Director of Public Prosecutions immediate arrest and prosecution of Hon. Waititu. We demand maximum possible sentence, if found guilty by Courts of Law to be administered to Hon. Waititu as a showcase to any individuals who undermines against peaceful coexistent among communities. For an individual to incite people knowing it very well that this could trigger ethnic animosity against other communities across the country is deplorable and unacceptable. We would like to remind Hon. Waititu that even if some individuals from the Maasai community ever committed a crime, they should be dealt with as any other Kenyan suspected of committing a crime within the law, and they cannot be used as a tool to condemn the whole community. As a member of parliament, he should have been on the lead to calm the Kayole residents, give room for investigations and call for restraints rather than incite. The statement he gave was rudely reckless and irresponsible, that even hundreds apologies will not be enough to remedy the damages done to the Maasai community.


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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Uncategorized




Pastoralist societies in Kenya are prone to violence due to structural conditions of environmental vulnerability, scarcity of resources and decentralized socio –economic political organization. Due to the underlying historical injustices done to them i.e. exclusion from mainstream development agendas and continued marginalization of this communities remain a focal point of recurrent conflicts among them.infact major frontier development projects in Kenya has been sported in pastoralist land for instances LAPSSET will put these communities in this areas at waiting bay.

Land alienation by state and foreign cooperation is seen a major factor, this resource can play critical role of divide and rule and using clans as a way of manipulating those with less privileges in their society and in this way pastoralist with bigger clans dominates those with minimal powers. Cases of inter clan communities seen in Tana Delta fighting and killing of innocents people is portrayed as land resource.migrants from others communities, natural resources and the current political context in those areas also attributes to the problems of clashes among pastoralists communities. Conceptualizing pastoralist conflict as conflict over resources between different communities forces understanding into the framework of the social and economics paradigm of scarcity needs an emphasis on equal distribution of resources and delivering of basics rights services among pastoralists enables them to exercise their sovereign power as stipulated in the constitution.

Pastoralist communities majorly depends on livestock as a means of sustaining their livelihoods and in this way they migrates from one place to another in search of pasture and water for their animals their by causing conflicts among them. For instances pokomo community are agro-pastoralist meaning practicing both agriculture and keeping of animals making difficult for the other community to assimilate with them. It is within this context that recurrent violence among these communities is viewed as one of the contributory factors for resurgent of injustices done to minor clans in those areas.

The new constitution dispensation on the devolution contributes to the ongoing clashes in the Tana delta where clans with majority has taken over control of resources and representation of leadership leaving the less fortunate in the receiving side making recurrent violence’s to arise now and then. The issues relating to boundaries among these communities is seen as the articulating point of divergent among the communities in the region hence leaving them struggling and engaging in inter-clan conflicts among themselves as the Cases of pokomo and Oromo.mojar casualties are women and children whom they cannot afford to fighting, resulting to deplorable poor states of living among them.

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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Uncategorized



Three-month-old baby orphaned in Tana massacre:

A three-month-old baby, Asman Dahman, innocently lies at a manyatta in Riketa village in Tana Delta District. Dahman cries to be breast-fed. The infant stretches his hands looking for something to eat in vain. Little does Dahman know that his mother, Safo Bocha, is no more? The infant’s father, Derman Guyo, and five other siblings were all killed by raiders who attacked the village, killing more than 52 other people and injuring others.

When we visited him in the neighboring Dide Waride village where survivors of the massacre are hosted, Dahman is now depending on Hoshe Nyangu, an elderly woman who is a stranger to him but sucks her unyielding breasts at least to console him to fall asleep.

Dahman is among ten children orphaned after raiders butchered their parents. Wednesday, August 22, will never be erased in the minds of survivors of the Riketa massacre.

My interview with victims was on several occasions forced to end prematurely after they were overwhelmed by emotions on recalling the bizarre incident. Abubakar Hanti had spent the night at the cattle shed watching over his animals due to insecurity but at around 5am, everything changed. “I saw about 300 people armed with rifles, pangas and other crude weapons surround the area,” he recalls. Hanti could not raise alarm fearing for his life and hid at the cattle shed.

One group armed with guns surrounded the village while the rest torched houses. “Those who attempted to flee from the burning houses were slashed to death,” he recalls amid sobs.

Amid the confusion, he escaped and hid in the nearby mathenge bush. Rukia Gwiyo, a Standard Six pupil at Riketa Primary School says she had just woken up and was washing her face: “I heard gun shots and screams from neighboring homes. ”Upon moving out of their house, she saw men slashing to death anyone they came across. “It happened so fast that I could not even alert my parents who were sleeping in a separate house, as the attackers had already moved very close,” she recalls. Rukia only held her two younger brothers and escaped while the attackers pursued them. She later learnt her mother, father and their four siblings were killed.

At Witu Hospital, Ali Bakresa is nursing serious burns together with his two sons aged four and six. Writhing in pain, he recalls he was asleep with his wife and four children only to discover heavy smoke inside his house. He began choking from the smoke. He jumped out but returned after his children pleaded for help.

But he only managed to rescue two as the fire had spread too fast while the rest, including his wife, burnt beyond recognition. Bakresa sustained serious burns.

standard newspaper online 12/09/12

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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Uncategorized



Community rejects plans to settle IDPs on land

An ownership row that has stalked a 2,400-acre piece of land in Mau Narok has taken a new twist. This was after claims emerged that a Cabinet minister has entered a deal with Government to resettle Internally Displaced People (IDPs) on the land.

Hundreds of Maasai community members at Tipis trading center held a demonstration on Monday to protest against alleged plans. They vowed they would not allow IDPs to be resettled on the farm until the matter is determined by High Court. Last year, members of the community engaged police in running battles as they protested over plans by Government to resettle the displaced on the farm. “We shall not relent until the land reverts to us,” said John Maitai, chairman of Maasai Elders Association.

Mr. Maitai said the community would not recognize any arrangement to have the Government take over the land, adding they will move to court to compel the State to return the land, whose lease expired, to the Maasai community. “The Maasai were evicted from the land before it was allocated to settlers,” he said.

The demonstrators said they would peacefully engage the Government and relevant authorities until the land is returned to the rightful owners, the community. Last year, the Government announced it had shelved plans to resettle IDPs on the farm. “Allocating the land to IDPs, politicians and their cronies is unacceptable. For the sake of peace ahead of the General Election, the plans should be dropped,” said Maranga Wotune, another elder.

He accused Government of highhandedness and asked it to treat all communities fairly. There was heavy police presence during the demonstration.

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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized



Pastoralist Lands form the last frontier for Kenya’s development needs:

The past few years have witnessed unprecedented interest in the hitherto harsh, dry and un inhabitable wastelands often referred to as arid and semi arid lands (asals) in Kenya.

The interest has been generated by Kenya’s deficiency in energy resources and infrastructural development which form the pillars of the country’s development blue print entitled Vision 2030 which is touted as the country’s vehicle towards a newly industrialized nation by 2030.

This has brought in a barrage of foreign and local actors in the fields of oil and natural gas exploration, wind and solar energy as well as geothermal prospecting and the Lamu South Sudan Ethiopia (LAPSSET) infrastructural development wonder according to Wikipedia which intends to build a  port at manda bay-Lamu, a standard gauge railway line to Juba (capital of South Sudan) a road network, oil pipelines (Southern Sudan and Ethiopia) an oil refinery at Baragoi-Samburu, three airports and three resort cities in Lamu, Isiolo and the shores of Lake Turkana. Most of these will be based in the sun scorched weather beaten pastoralist lands in northern Kenya.

This grand project according to the Vision 2030 website among other things is envisioned as a first time land bridge across the middle of Africa from Lamu in Eastern Africa to Doula -Cameroon on the Atlantic Ocean coast. It  is supported  by international financial institutions, regional bodies and Kenya’s development partners such as the African Union AU), Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa), East African Community (EAC), African Development Bank (ADB) and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

For one long century the arid and semi arid parts of Kenya which constitute about 80% of the country’s landmass have been treated as wastelands where nothing of value could sprout due to the crop based economy mindsets at the policy making and implementation informed by  Sessional paper 10 of 1965. As international human rights standard .The local communities should be enjoined in decision making in regards to the project implementation thus avoiding conflicts resulting from these protected developments.

The logistical concept of pastoralist communities land being the only source of Kenyan government in its most development project proposes many question to their surrounding people as to why, most neglected marginalized communities  is the hope of many millions Kenyans. LAPSET project will give rise to many conflicts in pastoralist areas as the project links most of their live hoods due the facts that majority lives in those pieces of land in arid and semi arid areas of the country. In fact if the government will not involve these communities in every aspect of project Passover then consequences will be worst then ever. According to article 56 of the constitution, the state shall put in place affirmative action programmes designed to ensure that minorities and marginalized groups

 (a) Participate and are represented in governance and other spheres of life

(b) Are provided special opportunities in educational and economic fields

 (c) Provided special opportunities to access employment

(d) Develop their cultural values, languages and practices

 (e) Have reasonable access to water, health services and infrastructure. In all of the above their rights should be protected.

Contrary to the above, the planned infrastructure will have irreversible environmentally, socially, economically and demographic impacts on these areas. To make matters worsen state-decision makers have proceeded without consultation with the pastoralist communities as the key stakeholders or an environmental impact assessment. In 2009, Lamu Environmental Protection and Conservation (LEPAC) spearheaded an initiative the demands of the community groups as per their petition are:

 1) The Government of Kenya (GOK) publicly shares all information on the proposed project to the local communities;

2) The GOK publicly facilitates for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment to be carried out by independent experts;

3) A participatory process is undertaken with the local communities involved in the assessment of the impacts and planning of the proposed project;

4) The land rights violations against the indigenous Lamu communities are adequately investigated and addressed before any further development plans are inaugurated. In respect of the above these seemingly post to be a telling story to the government as the communities were left behind in such scenories. Additionally, the Lamu Port has been a source of contentious issues following numerous fraudulent land transactions in the region. The local communities have so far threatened legal action against the project as a result of the failure of the government to address historical land injustices prior to its implementation. Also the cases in isolo, Turkana, sumburu, west Pokot and many parts where pastoralists’ communities coexist all conflicts are as a result of these injustices done to them and not being addressed so far by the concerned authorities. The recent oil discovery at Turkana County and olkaira geothermal power project all these and many more poses a great challenge to pastoralists  and are the sources of conflicts when these projects are implemented without even assessing the impacts, treats that would result to the surrounding communities. The local chapter of the Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry explain further how the government needed to communicate its revenue sharing plans to the public and the communities such areas.

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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Uncategorized



Pastoralists nurture modern farming, derive comforts

From a distance, hundreds of livestock raising the dust head to a drying water-pan where it’s a scramble for the strong with the emaciated ones collapsing by the sides. On the vast bare land, skeletons of livestock can be spotted littered all over as vultures dive for the fresh ones. Past the stinking and rotting carcasses, a lone Maasai boy dressed in the traditional red shuka drives another herd of livestock towards the drying water pan. He stops briefly under a shrub of tree to shelter from the scorching sun that is getting hotter by the minute. Some herders leave weak animals on the paths and within minutes, the hovering vultures surround them


Tens of manyatta stick out in the area and semi-naked children with houseflies around their eyes and mouths play outside. The man of the house sits under a shrub, his hand on his chin as his two wives drag out carcasses of three goats from the shed. But as one leaves the dry area of Narasha in Naivasha for Oltoroto village in Narok North, the situation changes gradually.

The road is deplorable, but the green vegetation breathes fresh air to the surrounding. Rickety Lorries drive through the road, their bellies filled with fresh potatoes and vegetables. Deeper into Oltoroto village, there are acres of land teeming with vegetables, maize a and potatoes. The cold breeze is a welcome break from the harsh sun of Narasha.

The cows here are huge and healthy. Their calves are so well-fed that they jump up and down. A stream of clean water flows downhill, where the dairy cows quench their thirst. In one of the modern houses, a smartly dressed woman emerges and heads to the farm where she harvests some kales and onions before returning to the house to start preparing a meal for her family.

Embraced technology

These residents at the Naivasha-Narok border have embraced technology and modern farming methods after kicking out the traditional way of life where they reared cows, which were often decimated by harsh weather and disease. Now they are serious dairy farmers.

The group has gone ahead to produce vegetables for export and is involved in the production of biogas (using cow dung) in conjunction with Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF). Farmers from Oltoroto village are enjoying the fruits of their efforts while their brothers in the neighborhood embark on the annual taxing nomadic exercise of searching for pasture.

The farmers’ livelihood has changed for the better. For example, Shadrack Kamaamia who has benefited from the project says life has become easier, manageable and cheaper since they adopted modern farming. “From the dairy farming we are getting biogas, organic manure and we are growing several varieties of crops which have a ready market,” he says.

Kamaamia has seen great changes. Before, he got just 100 liters of milk from his 30 cows. Now, he gets 60 liters from his two dairy cows. “We didn’t know that we have the potential to produce high quality vegetables and milk. After seeing our success, many more farmers want to join the programme.”

Margaret Nkasooni wonders why the project didn’t come earlier. For years, Nkasooni and other women spent long hours looking for firewood but with biogas, that part of their life is in the past. The modern farming technology has uplifted their lives and they comfortably get their daily bread and educate their children.

 Ready market

“My daughter is now in university and I comfortably pay her fees. With a ready market for our produce, this is the best thing that happened to us,” she says. it the touch of a button, Nkasooni prepares a meal as well as entertain her guests at the same time. Cooking has never been more fun, she says.

According to WWF’s Nancy Njenga, the organization is working with the pastoralists to improve their livelihoods. Over the years and with increasing population, land available to the pastoralists has diminished. “At first some members of the community were reluctant to change from herding to dairy  farming but this has changed and we can see the fruits,” says Njenga adding that the families involved in the project are also growing fruits, producing biogas, bee-keeping and exporting various varieties of vegetables.

The fund has also decided to empower them by enabling the pastoralists take their children to school as the Government had “forgotten them for long”.

Although the project is a success, the dilapidated roads in Narok North constituency have greatly hampered the farmers’ march to financial freedom. The situation becomes worse during the rainy season paralyzing transport and seeing farm produce rotting in farms. “Majority of the vegetables consumed in Nairobi come from this area but the poor road network is a big problem,” sums up one of the truck drivers, Peter Nguro.

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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Uncategorized