RSS

Category Archives: Natural resources

SENATOR GIDEON MOI CALLS FOR BOUNDARIES SOLUTION BETWEEN BARINGO AND TURKANA

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi says conflicting boundary differences between Turkana and Baringo counties should be iron out immediately to avert more loss of lives and destruction of property.

Speaking in Koibatek, Baringo county Moi asked Survey of Kenya to insure that proper and original administrative boundaries are identified and marked.

The senator further urged the affected communities from the two counties to respect the traditional community boundaries as they wait for the survey outcome.

“The problem we are witnessing in Kapedo is purely a boundary issue and that is why we demand that Survey of Kenya visit the place and point out the original boundaries between the two counties. We need to know whether Kapedo is in Turkana or Baringo, period”, he reiterated.

While condemning several deadly attacks directed at Government officers in the area, Moi said the country’s director of survey must tour the region and remedy the situation before it get out of hand.

The senator who is also the senate roads and energy chairman said persistent insecurity arising from cattle rustling which has led to loss of lives, destruction of property, displacement of persons, disruption of education and negative image of the county was undermining development.

“This state of affairs is no longer tolerable and the national and county leadership from all sub counties must face the issue head on, lives and property of helpless citizens must be protected by all means”, he added.

In the meantime, a dispute between Pokot and Illchamu communities is brewing over whether Mukutani Centre should be in Marigat sub-county or Tiaty with each community claiming the same.

Over the years, the contested area has been treated to be under Illchamus until early this year when suspected pokot bandits torched houses belonging to Illchamus threatening to cause an eviction.

During the raids, Mukutani location assistant chief Samuel Lecher was ambushed and shot in the leg while making his way back to home in the evening and his shop set ablaze.

On Saturday, three General Service Unit (GSU) officers were killed and a vehicle they were traveling in set ablaze by suspected Pokot bandits during a routine security patrol at Ameyen in Turkana East.

During the 2pm incident, a GSU officer and unknown woman were also injured.
By Monday, a secondary school teacher, three police officers and an employee of Tullow oil were still missing after bandits attacked a vehicle they were traveling in near Kapedo town.

Last week, eight police officers were attacked in the area and a vehicle ferrying KCSE examination materials was set ablaze with operations at Amosing and Ngamia 1oil exploration sites in Turkana East reportedly grounded.

On the same day, suspected Pokot raiders made a daring attack at Sirata in Kiserian Marigat Sub-county shooting death four Illchamus Morans before making away with 31 heads to cattle towards Tangulbei in East Pokot.

Two of the raiders were cornered at Rugus near the border of the two communities and killed.

Following the two incidences, the Inspector of police David Kimaiyo has issued a shoot to kill order on armed bandits as he directed for a massive operation to recover stolen guns and uniforms from the three murdered officers.

The IG issued the orders when he toured Kapedo and Sunday accompanied by Baringo County Commissioner Peter Okwanyo and County Police Commandant Hassan Barua and urged illegal gun holders to surrender them before the Government rolls out the disarmament exercise.

He also warned leaders who incite communities saying action will be taken against them.

Source: The Standard Monday, October 27th

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Natural resources

 

Tags:

OIL EXPLORATION KICKS OFF AS LOCALS FEAR LOSING LAND

Tullow Kenya has formerly started exploration of oil in Baringo and Elgeyo Marakwet counties even as locals expressed fears of losing land.

The oil company, last February, carried out seismic surveys in the two counties and identified “Block 12 A” in the Kerio Valley belt, which runs across the two counties, as potential area for exploratory oil drilling.

The company is already holding sensitisation meetings with local leaders and other stakeholders as required before actual drilling can start.

The consultative meetings started Monday and run until October 3, where the locals interact directly with Tullow representatives and the technical team conducting the study.

But residents of Kerio Valley have threatened to block the exercise in court if the government fails to issue them with title deeds to ensure they benefit fully from the project. Land in the area is owned communally.

“We also want a clear policy on how we will benefit from the project. Our crops have been destroyed and we’ve not been compensated,” said Kipsoit resident Mr Zephaniah Chebet.

The sessions will include meetings with the governors and county executives, MPs, public sector agencies including the Kenya Wildlife Service and the National Environment Management Authority, community-based organizations and non-governmental organizations, among others.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

This came as the oil firm acquired the services of a Kenyan firm to carry out the mandatory Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA).

“Tullow has contracted an independent Kenya-based environmental management consultancy firm, ESF Consultants, to carry out the study,” said Ms Mercy Kabangi, a communications advisor at Tullow Kenya.

“Our activities are guided by respect for the property, culture, values and way of life of the communities we work with as well as by the highest environmental, health and safety standards,” Ms Kabangi said in a media dispatch.

The ESIA is a mandatory requirement by the Environmental Management Act 1999, to identify potential impacts of the drilling works as well as appropriate mitigation measures where required.

Local leaders led by members of county assembly Joseph Makilap (Barwessa) and Johana Chebon (Kabarnet) want Tullow to abide by all agreements made before embarking on the project to avoid conflicts.

The agreements include opening up of roads in the area.

“We will not tolerate a situation where of our people are shortchanged. We should avoid a repeat of what was witnessed in Turkana,” Mr Chebon recently during a public baraza which was also attended by Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi and Tullow representatives.

Ms Kabangi said an extensive awareness exercise will also be conducted with members of the local communities.

“We are committed to working with all stakeholders to promote the growth of a vibrant and responsible oil industry in Kenya,” she said.

Source: The Standard Monday, September 15, 2014

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Natural resources

 

VILLAGERS’ FURY AS CATTLE RAIDERS GUN DOWN TWO IN PASTURE WARS

Leaders and residents in Laikipia Central at the weekend expressed anger over last week’s killing of two women by raiders.

The suspected cattle rustlers shot dead Ms Juliet Wamuyu, 70, and Ms Anna Njoki, 51, on Wednesday last week before stealing four cattle at Munyaka village.

During a security meeting at the weekend, the leaders demanded the eviction of herders who have driven their animals into the area, saying, the killings were related to demand for pasture.

“They must leave immediately if they cannot keep peace. They cannot come from Isiolo, Baringo and Samburu to provoke the residents of Laikipia,” Ngobit County Assembly member Mwangi Kamakia said.

He told security agents to vet workers in the surrounding wildlife ranches, whom, he claimed, were abetting cattle rustling.

Residents, however, blamed chiefs for failing to enforce by-laws meant to be observed by villagers and herders from outside the area to ensure peace.

Herders bringing their animals to the area supposed to be vetted by 10 elders from each community before they can graze in the area.

They told the security team led by district officer Maina Ngunyi that the system collapsed after the chiefs started ‘selling’ pasture to the migrant pastoralists.

Wanted to access
“These women were killed because of pasture. They were living in an area with very good pasture and some people wanted to access it,” Mr James Lepuyo said.

The residents said destruction of six dams by heavy rains last December was forcing people and livestock to compete for the resource leading to insecurity

Source: Daily Nation Sunday, May 18, 2014

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Natural resources

 

NANOK INVESTS IN IRRIGATION AND TOURISM

Turkana has invested in irrigation and water supply to minimise the effects of periodic droughts.
Governor Josphat Nanok wants residents of the county to have enough food and not rely on relief supplies.
To achieve this, funds have been set aside for the construction of a model drip irrigation scheme at the recently discovered Napuu aquifer and River Turkwel. This will help encourage residents venture into farming.
According to Mr Nanok, two dry land irrigation schemes will be constructed at Nadung’a and Lotikipi. Five of the existing irrigation schemes will be expanded, five extra ones rehabilitated and a food reserve built.
He is mechanising agriculture by purchasing tractors for every constituency.
Drought resistant seeds will also be supplied to farmers.
The county has graded roads and gravelled others to ensure movement of farm produce from irrigation schemes to markets across the six constituencies, ease patrols and movement of tourists.
“Construction of a six-kilometre tarmac road is starting this week,” according to the county boss.
ATTRACT MORE VISITORS
The county has also unveiled plans to build an international airport in Lodwar to boost tourism, another key plank of the county development.
To attract more visitors, he is starting with the forthcoming County Tourism and Cultural Festivals scheduled for August 28-30.
The fete, he says, will be an opportunity to market Turkana as the “cradle of mankind.”
More than 50 sites have been featured in http://www.visitturkanaland.com, the county tourism website.
He wants the National Government to relocate the 1.5 million-year-old skeleton of Turkana boy also known as Nariokotome boy to Turkana where it was discovered.
The community needs to benefit directly from the revenue raised from those who view the fossil, insists the governor.
Funds collected from tourists will be used to offer basic services to residents.
Mr Nanok has appealed to the National Government to help market Turkana as a tourist destination, stating that the white sandy beaches of Lake Turkana, wildlife and a rich culture could be enjoyed by the visitors.
This, he says, can help bring the number of tourists visiting the country to three million by 2017, up from the current 1.5 million annually.
Education is his other key plank.
“Sixty nursery schools have been constructed with more funds allocated for another 60. The county will roll out a school feeding programme to attract children to schools,” said Mr Nanok.
However, he cites the challenges like insecurity and cattle rustling as derailing projects in some areas.
Source: Daily Nation Monday, August 4, 2014

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Natural resources, Uncategorized

 

LEADERS SEEEK MINISTRY HELP ON WATER PROJECT

A member of the West Pokot County Assembly has called on the Ministry of Water And Natural Resources to fast-track the earmarked Muruny-Siyoi water project to curb perennial shortages in the semi-arid region. Richard Mastaluk of Kapenguria ward said most residents were experiencing hardship accessing clean water for domestic use noting that completion of the project will save the community from walking long distances to water points. He appealed to the ministries of water and that of devolution and planning, which are currently involve in the programme, to ensure that it kicks off in time and relieve residents of the struggles. Mastaluk said residents have been patient enough waiting to be connected with clean water for consumption and the government should speed up the project.
“Residents of this region have been waiting for long for water to be connected so that they access the commodity cheaply and with ease and hence we want the relevant authorities to speed up the project,” he said. The Muruny-Siyoi water project is a donor funded programme that intends to connect residents of Kapenguria and Chepareria as well as the environs with gravity water. Residents of the affected areas have been complaining over constant water shortages citing old and dilapidated machines that cannot pump water throughout. Experts from National Youth Service have been involved in drilling of boreholes in the semi-arid region but most of the commenced projects are not yet completed. Water principal secretary James Teko, who toured the county recently, had promised that the tendering process for the Muruny-Siyoi water project was already on. He pledged that the project will commence before end of the year. West Pokot, and particularly Chepareria area, has been synonymous with acute water shortage and recurrent drought. The county is also one of those hard hit by famines year in year out.
Source: The Standard Thursday August 14, 2014

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Natural resources

 

PASTORALISTS IN DRIVE TO SAVE DRYING RIVER

A group of pastoralists and volunteers have launched a major initiative to save Ewaso Nyiro River from drying up.
More than 100 pastoralists and volunteers will for the next five days trek some 250km with 30 camels along the river banks in what has been dubbed the Camel Caravan.
Ewaso Nyiro is a central source of livelihood for the Samburu, Rendille, Borana, Somali, Turkana, and Maasai communities, among others, living in Isiolo, Samburu and Laikipia counties.
The group will use the opportunity to sensitise and educate local communities on the importance of protecting and conserving the natural resource that is estimated to benefit more than three million Kenyans.
The river is currently under threat and is drying up at an alarming rate due to upstream diversion to irrigate large horticultural farms, inorganic and industrial solid waste.
The effects of climatic change have also contributed to the adverse weather conditions, including frequent droughts in Northern Kenya.
This growing pressure on the natural resources affects peaceful co-existence, human and livestock health as well as agriculture, tourism, water and energy supplies.
“Degradation, pollution and abstraction is increasing on the river due to human activities and development projects,” said Mohammed Dida, one of the event organisers.
POTENTIAL CONFLICT
That’s not all. The proposed Sh10 billion dam as a Vision 2030 flagship project at Oldinyiro, Isiolo by the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation aimed at servicing Isiolo’s new Resort City is also a major cause for potential conflict with the vulnerable communities.
The event expects to lobby the national and county governments to re-consider the negative environmental and social impacts of the mega dam construction towards depriving the vulnerable communities living downstream of the Ewaso Nyiro River access to water and their economic independence.
The procession was flagged off Saturday at Merti township in Isiolo for communities living on the lower streams of Ewaso Nyiro and at Ol-Naboli Bandas in Laikipia North for those residents living up-stream.
The irony is that while communities up-stream have plenty of water to irrigate their farms and give to their animals, those in the lower parts have to contend with receding river banks.
Rashid Guyo, the chairman of Waso River Users, a community organisation based downstream, said they celebrate whenever the river floods.
“The communities upstream are being sensitised on sustainable use of the water like drip irrigation as well as not to bathe in the river or have their cattle pollute the water,” said Mr Dida. The final procession of the Camel Caravan will converge on August 14 at the Archers Post, Samburu County.

Source: Daily Nation Saturday, August 9, 2014

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Natural resources

 

Cattle Rustling, Scramble For Resources Leave Trail of Death:

Freshly dug graves, deserted cowsheds, lack of barns and undernourished women and children in many homes illustrate the magnitude of the raging Pokot-Turkana conflict. Cattle rustling and clashes over limited resources have left a trail of death and destruction along the volatile border of West Pokot and Turkana counties. The re-drawing of administrative boundaries in the new devolved system of governance coupled with the recent discovery of oil in Turkana have led to violent confrontations over key water and grazing areas. The conflict has displaced thousands of people, prevented agro-pastoral communities from accessing large areas of pasture and water, and hindered the mobility of migratory herders (a crucial drought coping mechanism). Many would expect the region endowed with rich oil deposits to be at peace with itself in anticipation of the multiplier effect the earnings are likely to churn out. Far from it. Turkana is home to Tallow Oil whose explorations are expected to save the region from poverty after decades of neglect.

Regular raids But,
This remains a distant fantasy to residents of Turkana South constituency following regular raids by their neighbours with no end in sight in the foreseeable future. The attacks were hitherto perceived to be traditional cattle rustling escapades but have morphed into boundary disputes and battle for resources with possible political undertones. Residents of Nakwomoru, Kakong’, Kainuk and Kaptir in Turkana South say their Pokot neighbours want to seize their land. “Look at these two graves, I buried my two sons a few days ago after they were killed by armed bandits. My husband died after people who took away his goats also killed him. Now I have no one to depend on. I am only counting days to my grave not knowing when they will strike again,” says an old woman only identified as Paulina, 89. At Kakong’, an area frequented by armed bandits, a pregnant Rebecca Asenyeni, 22 and her two children are mourning the death of their sole bread winner who was killed by armed bandits.

“I have nowhere to go. My husband used to sell charcoal to fend for us. I am also expecting a baby in a month’s time, but who will take care of us?” she quips through a translator because she neither understands nor speaks both English and Kiswahili. At a nearby home, Mzee Michael Lopai, 93, lies haplessly in his dilapidated Manyatta. His family fled the home following recent banditry attacks. The nonagenarian, who only speaks his native Turkana, says his home was raided and animals stolen after his two sons were killed. “I am waiting to die. Where can I go? My sons fled this area and went to look for food and shelter. I am alone, I cannot go anywhere let them come and kill me,” he says as a neighbour supports him to sit, but he falls over. His only property is the “shuka” that serves both as clothing and a sheet to keep him warm at night. With lurched openings from the walls of the manyatta, mzee peeps out and can tell night fall is near but cannot precisely say what time of day it is. Kakong’ has about 6,000 residents, with just two Kenya Police Reservists (KPR). Okure Adakerie and John Lokitrto are the only surviving KPR officers after armed bandits killed five of their colleagues.

“We cannot manage the population here but we will protect our people because we have no alternative,” says Adakerie adding that their work is pro bono. Two of their colleagues are nursing injuries they sustained while fighting armed bandits allegedly from Pokot.
Overpowered, “They numbered about 600 and came attacking from all directions. We were very few and they overpowered us, killing two of our own and injuring two who were recently release from hospital,” said Adakerie adding He reveals that three bodies are still rotting away about three kilometers from the village because residents fear lurking into the forests regarded as pokot hideouts. Lobokat Kainuk Ward representative Nicodemus Eguman said they lived in peace with their Pokot neighbours, albeit with normal cattle rustling, until 1983 when hell broke loose and attacks started taking political and land dimensions.

“After 1983 we were chased from Kainuk Hill and our people killed. We then came to Nakululumeit where we currently live. But our neighbours insist we still live in their land,” said. He said at least 15 people are killed and more than a 1,000 livestock stolen every week. He criticized security agents for often releasing inaccurate figures on the casualties during attacks, adding that the number of police officers is insufficient. “The public has lost faith in security agents and Government officers who blatantly lie on the figures. They can never say the truth because of fear of appearing as sleeping on the job,” he said. Kaptri Ward representative Shadrak Lodong’a says police take too long to respond to attacks even after receiving timely information. He says the area is vulnerable to attacks from the Pokot raiders following a decision by the Government to disarm police reservists. An administration police officer was shot in the area following an attack. He was shot at night after police shot dead a man and injured another when Kakong’ residents staged a demonstration, protesting the raging insecurity in the area. Heavily armed pokot bandits had attacked the village, killed five herders and one KPR officer before driving away over 2,000 goats, leaving owners who depended on their livestock vulnerable to famine. “The bandits attacked our villages and stole cattle and killed our people. But police who should have come to help us pursue the attackers turned against us and killed a man and left another seriously wounded,” said Lodong’a.

He says when Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo visited the area, following the killing of the officer, he ordered the disarmament of all KPR, and something the MCA says has left villagers vulnerable to more attacks. But Turkana South OCPD Kipsang Sangach disputes the claims, saying the police only confiscated the firearms for ballistic analysis in the investigations on the death of the AP officer who was shot at Nakwomuru camp about 7km from Kakong’ town. However, area leaders have questioned why guns were confiscated without replacements leaving the area vulnerable.

Ballistic laboratories “We did not disarm the KPR. They are a crucial component in the security of this area because they are the ones who understand the terrain. We took the firearms to our ballistic laboratories in Nairobi to ascertain whether the guns could have been involved in the killing of the AP officer,” said Kipsang. He says there are enough police officers to man the expansive area despite a few challenges but admitted that the fact that the area did not benefit from the latest batch of security vehicles will have serious consequences.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Natural resources

 

Tags: ,