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Category Archives: News Briefs

HERDERS INJURED IN LIVESTOCK RAID

Two herdsmen were injured in a raid in Namoruakwaan Village in Turkana East yesterday. Parkati assistant chief Gedion Ikaal said that 450 goats and sheep stolen were driven towards East Baringo sub-county. He said there were no police officers in the area and appealed for the deployment of reservists to protect the remaining animals. Tension remained high yesterday due to fears that the raiders may strike again. Katilia Ward representative Lawrence Lotomon called on the government to intervene for the animals to be recovered.

Source: Daily Nation Thursday July 17, 2014

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Posted by on September 23, 2014 in News Briefs

 

ALARM OUT AFTER FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE OUTBREAK

Hundreds of pastoralists in some parts of the country are a worried lot following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Leaders yesterday called on the Veterinary Department to step in and curb the spread of the disease. Nominated member Simon Chumakener said a quarantine order should be issued. He urged the department to vaccinate animals against the disease to ensure farmers did not incur losses. Executive member in charge of livestock Josiah Cheruiyot said the disease had spread from Trans Nzoia.
Source: Daily Nation Tuesday August 12, 2014

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in News Briefs

 

Pastoralists Flee Mpeketoni Area For Fear Of Retaliation Following Massacre:

Hundreds of ethnic Somali pastoralists are fleeing Pangani in Mpeketoni for fear of retaliation after the massacre that hit the area two weeks ago. Independent sources yesterday said the pastoralists are fleeing to Tana River County after allegedly receiving threats of retaliation by people they claim are blaming them for the Mpeketoni massacre. Several MPs among them Lamu West MP Julius Ndegwa and Othaya’s Mary Wambui visited Mpeketoni and addressed the residents at the township’s Uhuru Gardens on Saturday. Kenya Red Cross (KRC) has not given reasons for the flight but a Government official claimed that the pastoralists have expressed fear over an impending disarmament exercise. KRC Malindi and Magarini Coordinator Hassan Musa confirmed that the pastoralists were fleeing their homes in droves. “There is mass exodus by the pastoralist communities living in Pangani to Tana River County,” he said but did not provide the exact numbers.

Musa said the fleeing communities have not established any camp in the neighboring county. Mass exodus “Most of those fleeing have joined their relatives in Tana River but we are monitoring the situation to establish if there is need of establishing an IDP camp to host them,” he said. Assistant County Commissioner in charge of Mpeketoni Benson Maisori claimed those fleeing are fearing that the Government will soon launch a forceful disarmament exercise. Mr. Maisori said intelligence reports indicated that a section of the Somali community living in the area hosted the Mpeketoni attackers. “A section of the community knows the attackers and even hosted before the attack,” he claimed.

Source: Standard Newspaper 01/07/2014

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in News Briefs

 

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Pastoralists Must Resolve Conflicts

Decades long pastoralist conflicts and insecurity have had a devastating impact on the people, economy, development and environment. Pastoralist areas remain the least developed parts of Kenya.
This is demonstrated by the glaring economic disparity compared with the rest of the country despite the fact that these areas host the country’s national livestock herd estimated to be worth 295.270 billion shillings according to a 2012 IGAD Livestock Policy Initiative study.
Combined with annual production of 552, 569, 224 litres of camel milk, 1,292, 844,288 litres of goat and sheep milk, 197 637,102,539 litres of cattle milk from semi-arid areas and 370,599,886 litres from arid areas in addition other products such as beef, mutton, hides, skins, butter, ghee, accessories (from hooves, bones and horns), leather wear, draught power, manure (estimated at 27.829 billion shillings) and employment at various stages, pastoralist economy contributes substantially to the national GDP which is the greater chunk of the 40% total livestock contribution.
However, despite the latent opportunities provided by livestock herds and the fact that these areas contribute immensely to the wildlife based tourism, mining and energy sectors, the persistent conflicts portray these lands as the theatre of slaughter, dispossessions and internal displacements which portend a major challenge to pastoralist county governors.
Pastoralist conflicts and insecurity is further compounded by the porous nature of Kenya’s international borders and subsequent proliferation of an estimated 600,000 light weapons and small arms according to a Small Arms Survey Special Report of June 2012. The presence of Al Shabaab Terror group in Somalia, the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and the Oromo Liberation Front in Ethiopia further complicates the situation.
This insecurity interrupts education, economic preoccupation and generally poses an obstacle for development. Beyond the physical effects, insecurity has negatively affected the inter-communal relations fuelling negative feelings and distrust towards neighbouring communities. This distrust decreases the motivation and the capability of the communities to choose a cooperative path which is a prerequisite for peaceful and effective resources sharing and reciprocity which should be addressed in a unified approach by the 14 pastoralist county governors.
Loss of human life, property, displacements of large segments of the communities, disruption of socio-economic activities and livelihoods, increased hatred between communities, environmental degradation and threat to water catchments areas, increased economic hardships as a result of loss of livelihoods, high levels of starvation and malnutrition among the displaced groups and unprecedented dependency syndrome on relief food are the main negative impacts of the increasing and severe inter-ethnic armed conflicts in Kenya’s pastoralist areas which requires concerted bilateral efforts by the national government, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Somali as well as affected county governors and senators.
Pastoralist county governments therefore have the herculean task of building synergies first as a team from affected counties consolidate their efforts to prevent and mitigate violent conflicts by addressing each of the factors contributing to conflicts and insecurity and develop collective and effective actions to tackle the existing and emergent causes of conflict that target the actors who are mainly the youth.
By engaging directly with the pastoralist youth among the Turkana, Samburu, Pokot, Rendille, Gabbra, Borana, Somali among other communities involved and creating opportunities for other preoccupations through the Youth Enterprise Fund and Women Development Fund as well as other grants available both at the County and National levels, pastoralist governors can effectively undertake conflict prevention through the use of conflict prevention capacities of the communities involved and appeal for strengthened synergies between communities in order to take advantage of the benefits of peace which among others include development projects such as the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia transport corridor (LAPSSET) and tourism, mining, oil, gas, geothermal, wind and solar energy that are mainly targeting pastoralist counties.

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in News Briefs

 

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Making cultural industries work for indigenous communities in Kenya:

PDNK-UNESCO-IFCD-Study Findings-2012

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2013 in News Briefs

 

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Community Land Rights: Which Way Forward, Now That They Are A Reality?

The recognition by the Constitution that all land belongs to the people and that such land can be held by the people as communities has sought to correct a historical fallacy that has existed in Kenya since the start of the colonial period.

The Colonial Government introduced laws and policies whose effect was to disregard communal approaches to land-ownership and use. It was argued that communities were not legal entities capable of having property rights in land.

When land was vested in communities, so the fallacy went, the land would be mismanaged since there was no sufficient control, with access being open to everyone.  The resultant situation would be chaos and open access, what a famous scholar, Garett Hardin, referred to as the Tragedy of the Commons.

Colonial laws and policies, gave false premium to private property rights to land, focusing all efforts towards individual ownership.  This policy was used to give Europeans access to and control of the most productive land, and to disinherit Africans.

On attainment of independence, the laws and policies on land, continued with this approach, viewing private property as the most economical mode of land-holding. The law gave very little attention to customary land holdings

Despite this, communities continued to own and use land through communal arrangements. In essence, the country had a dual tenure arrangement, one recognised by the law and another existing in spite of the law.

The National Land Policy and the adoption of the Constitution in 2010 have corrected this error. Henceforth, communities can own and use land.  However there are several hurdles still to overcome to make community land rights a reality.

First, identifying and defining the “community” for purposes of vesting legal ownership is a difficult task.  The Constitution states that a community shall be identified on the basis of ethnicity, culture or similar communality of interest. Each of these criteria qualifies a group of people to be identified as a community.

The difficulty arises where the three criteria sit side by side and lead to different results in terms of defining the community. The law would have to specify how you reconcile such issues.

Secondly, land ownership has been one of the causes of conflicts in the past. The application of the criteria must be alive to this and seek to avoid enhancing ethnicity by promoting the right of every Kenyan to own land in any part of the republic.

Debate also exists regarding the process of identification of members of the community and the rights they are entitled to. Should the basis of membership be birth, marriage, assimilation or a process of either registration or census?

Others suggest that the solution should be that once you determine the unit of the community, you register the land in the community’s name and ensure its availability for use and avoid the complicated process of census to determine membership.

The law should also balance between communal rights and the rights of individuals within the community.  Historically, communal rights included a layer of rights shared among various levels within the community, with the political leadership having the rights of control, the clan having some rights, the family having others, and the individual another set of rights.

A useful law and policy to implement the constitutional provisions on community land rights must protect both the rights of the community and those of individuals. Special attention must be paid to ensure that groups like women and children that have traditionally been disadvantaged under customary rules receive equitable treatment.

The Constitution also encourages the use of traditional dispute resolution mechanisms. In communal land rights, the role of traditional institutions, like the council of elders will be imperative.  They will free up the newly established Environment and Land courts from mundane cases that are better resolved at the community level.

The ongoing efforts to develop a Community Land Law gives the country an opportunity to deal with some of these issues in a manner that is fair and just and results in security of tenure.

To ensure that the resulting law is in accord with the National Land Policy and the provisions of the Constitution, more robust debate on the proposals from the Task Force on Community Land Rights is imperative.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2013 in News Briefs

 

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NCIC Reconciles Pokot and Turkana Communities:

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) have stepped in to reconcile the Turkana and Pokot who have been in persistent conflicts. NCIC Chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia said they would work with the Provincial Administration and peace actors from both communities to address the conflicts that have claimed dozens of lives and destroyed property.

He said the communities had engaged in cattle rustling and other crimes for over 50 years, dealing a blow to development.

Tour of the county

“We cannot continue seeing people kill each other. We must unite as peace stakeholders and find amicable solutions,” he said.

Kibunjia toured the county at the weekend, and met District Peace Committees (DPCs) from six Turkana districts and senior police officers in Lodwar. The meeting discussed peace-building initiatives for warring communities.

He appealed to the communities to discard the notion that they have been marginalized yet they are allocated CDF funds like other regions. He cautioned against discriminating other Kenyans who want to start business activities to uplift livelihoods.  He said he was concerned with immense rise in the number of street children in Lodwar town and urged the provincial administration to ensure such children access education. “I am disappointed to see a town like Lodwar has the highest number of street children.

The law must take its course even If it means to round them up and take them back to school by force,” Kibunjia told DPCs officials in Lodwar on Friday. Area County Commissioner Julius Mathenge decried rampant banditry along Kitale-Lodwar Highway. Kibunjia was speaking during a peace forum in Lodwar.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in News Briefs

 

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