Friday 11th August – Update

It has been a while since we updated this blog. Ol Pejeta Conservancy and all its staff are extremely pleased that the elections are behind us and that Kenyans took to the polls peacefully and with very few security incidents.

While the Presidential race is not over yet, we believe that it will be resolved swiftly and without any major incidents.

Tourism is booming in Laikipia and places like Ol Pejeta Conservancy have had their best year since 2011. The security situation in Laikipia is much improved and the last two months have been much calmer. There are still pockets of insecurities in northern and western Laikipia, but we are working hard as a community to resolve these problems.

We encourage international visitors to come to Laikipia and enjoy our beautiful sceneries and amazing wildlife.

#KaribuLaikipia #ThisisLaikipia

Statement from the Kenya Tourism Federation – August 11th, 2017

The Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF), which represents the tourism private sector in Kenya, has its own Security & Communications Centre based in Nairobi and manned 24 hours a day. From here the security situation in all those regions of Kenya visited by tourists is closely monitored on a daily basis so that we can endeavour to ensure our visitors are safe by liaising with the police or emergency services to give any assistance in the event of accidents, illness or other emergency at any time.

During national elections, KTF has observers based all over the country to monitor the situation and to report immediately if there are any areas which tour companies should avoid. Tour vehicle drivers also call in to the KTF to report any incidents or to advise on the situation so that this information can be quickly shared. This arrangement by the tourism private sector helps to ensure that tourists in Kenya are given extra care and attention and that their safety and security is always treated as a high priority. As a result, over the past decade any incidents of violence involving tourists have been extremely rare in Kenya and the country has a record that compares very favourably with leading tourist destinations all over the world.

This year, during the elections, KTF has arranged to have over 100 observers, informers and drivers dotted all over the country providing regular updates on the situation by way of SMS texts or phone calls to the KTF Safety Centre so that if there are any reports of insecurity these can be immediately highlighted to the tour companies and any areas deemed unsafe can be avoided. The reports streaming in so far show that almost all of the country is quiet and peaceful and none of the tourist areas have been adversely affected. However there were a few incidents of rowdy demonstrations in some of the densely populated opposition strongholds in the city of Kisumu and its environs where tyres were set on fire and roads were blocked. The police put out the fires and the demonstrators dispersed. This is not an area normally visited by tourists from overseas. There were also reports of brief but violent skirmishes with the police in parts of Kisii and the southeastern Tana River area where it was reported that three people were killed in clashes with the security forces. These places are well away from anywhere visited by tourists.

Within the capital city of Nairobi, in a few of the low-income housing estates or slum areas where some opposition supporters live, there were also demonstrations and some violent confrontations with the police. The demonstrations appear to have been largely as a result of some opposition supporters reacting to claims of electoral fraud made by their leader who is in second place, behind the current President, in the results declared so far after tallying the votes. A demonstrator in Kawangware is reported to have died after being hit by a rubber bullet, while in the slums of Mathare, two people were shot dead by the police in the course of rioting by demonstrators or possibly looting and robbery but order has now been restored. In the Kibera slum, some roads have been closed by youths who are burning tyres and who have indicated that they are waiting to be told what to do by the opposition leader who it seems could have an important role in calming down the situation in areas which are tense. Again, these densely populated slums are not places visited by tourists and the rest of Nairobi is unaffected, calm and peaceful with people going about their business as normal and traffic between the city hotels and the airport moving without disruption.

There are 400 international observers in Kenya to monitor the elections, headed by some eminent figures who include South African former President Thabo Mbeki on behalf of the African Union, Ghana’s former President John Mahama on behalf of the Commonwealth and former US Secretary of State John Kerry and they have issued a statement calling on the opposition leader to use the legally provided channels of dispute resolution in case of any dissatisfaction with the process and to urge his supporters to remain calm and not to resort to violent demonstrations.

Kenya as a whole is generally calm and peaceful and only a few areas have experienced such demonstrations which it should be stressed were not aimed at foreign visitors or tourist facilities and took place in locations which are not frequented by tourists. Offices and businesses are open and people are going to work as normal today. It is evident that the people of Kenya have a fervent desire for peace and would prefer that any disputed election results should be resolved through the legal process and not through violent street demonstrations.

All the international airlines are operating to Kenya as normal, the British, US and EU governments have not issued any advice to visitors to stay away and the hotels, safari lodges and wildlife parks are all busy with large numbers of tourists present in Kenya at the moment who are enjoying their beach and safari holidays as normal.

Jake Grieves-Cook
Chairman
Gamewatchers Safaris
Nairobi

Thursday 27th April – Update

We are all glad to hear that Kuki Gallmann is making a good recovery from her injuries.  Efforts to clear the bandit groups that continue to plague some parts of north and western Laikipia remain in progress.

The drought continues to bite in northern Kenya and we are now witnessing large scale die offs of livestock across Laikipia.  In some places wildlife is beginning to succumb too.  We continue to pray for more widespread rain.  Unfortunately thus far the rain has been localised in small quantities and concentrated around southern Laikipia.  Consequently a good deal of livestock has moved into the area immediately to the north of Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

In the meantime we continue to work very closely with all of our neighbouring communities to assist them through this period.  They in turn are working with us to make sure that the recent influx of pastoralists is managed in a manner that ensures peaceful coexistence and sustainability.  As an organisation we recognise the dreadful impact the drought is having and wish to do all possible to mitigate the effects amongst our neighbours.

On a positive note, Ol Pejeta continues to operate 100% normally and, as well as launching Sudan the northern white rhino on Tinder yesterday, we are now the proud recipient of the incredibly prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow Community Award.  This is a brilliant endorsement of this organization and its model for conservation.

April 23, 2017 – STATEMENT BY RT. HON RAILA ODINGA ON LAIKIPIA ATTACKS

The National Super Alliance condemns in very strong terms the attack on conservationist and author Kuki Gallman by herders who invaded her Laikipia Conservancy earlier today.

We wish quick recovery to Kuki.

As Opposition, we detest and condemn the hooliganism taking roots in this part of the country and demand action that will restore order before things get completely out of control.

Kuki, like other conservancy owners being subjected to brutality in Laikipia is part and parcel of the Kenyan nation regardless of her origins. She has contributed tremendously to the growth of our country in general and northern Kenya in particular.

These ranch owners deserve protection under the law like all Kenyans.

Unfortunately, we have watched in bewilderment as hooligans take advantage of the drought to subject these ranchers to unwarranted attacks.  Even more depressing is the apparent helplessness of the government that is clearly unable or unwilling to bring these attacks to a stop.

Kenya is not a failed state. We want to believe that we have a government and that we are still guided by the rule of law and that the government still sees the protection of life and property as its prime reason for existence.

We therefore demand that the government immediately asserts control and brings these acts of hooliganism to an end once and for all and in a way that respects the rights, dignity and concerns of all parties involved. No more life must be lost, no individual must be attacked again in Laikipia.

RT. HON RAILA ODINGA
ODM PARTY/ NASA COALITION LEADER
APRIL 23, 2017

Laikipia Farmers Association – press release 20th April

Reposted from https://kifukuinvasion.wordpress.com/

Landowners in Laikipia pumped almost four billion shillings into the local economy in 2016, leading the way as the largest employers, taxpayers and private funders of education and health in the County.

But months of lawlessness in Laikipia threaten those economic gains and unless the violence ends, job losses and cuts in funding for social projects will follow. Already significant new investments have had to be scrapped.

Laikipia – how much ranchers and conservancies help the local economy

Post originally posted on https://kifukuinvasion.wordpress.com/

Laikipia ranchers and conservancies are the main contributors to Laikipia’s economy — we provide more jobs, we pay more taxes, we buy more goods and we support more education and health projects than anybody else in the County. A cross section of just 32 properties in Laikipia contributes nearly FOUR BILLION Kenya Shillings to the local economy annually — benefiting many thousands.

By contrast, the militias invading Laikipia pay no taxes, employ nobody, and give zero to education or health. Their political godfathers and the cattle barons driving the invasions contribute nothing to the economy. They only destroy it.

 

 

20th April 2017 – Update

The occupation of ranches and conservancies in western and northern Laikipia continues, albeit at reduced levels.  The Kenya Police and the Kenya Defence Forces continue to mount regular operations to remove illegal grazers from the affected properties.  In the meantime available information suggests that the “cattle barons” who instigated this problem 6 months ago have now removed their cattle by truck to areas where reasonable grazing still exists.

Unfortunately the long rains have not yet materialized to the extent necessary to recover drought stricken areas across the northern rangelands of Kenya.  Consequently we are now witnessing large die offs of domestic livestock and wildlife alike in certain areas.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy remains unaffected.  Currently game viewing is excellent with large numbers of wildlife having moved on to the Conservancy in search of forage.

8th April 2017 – Update

Currently there is a major operation to remove pastoralist livestock from the various affected ranches in northern and western Laikipia. This is being conducted by the Kenya Defence Forces and the Kenya Police.

Regrettably, as result of the mismanagement of the northern rangelands beyond Laikipia, grazing reserves within those ranches and conservancies affected by the recent pastoralist invasions are now severely depleted. Notwithstanding some of the ridiculous political rhetoric, all the cattle in northern Kenya can’t fit into Laikipia! This will continue to impact on wildlife and livestock populations alike, with die-offs now beginning to happen in certain areas. It is to be hoped that the much anticipated long rains materialize to further stabilize the situation.

In the meantime Ol Pejeta continues to operate normally and remains unaffected. We have seen a major influx of wildlife through our corridor systems over the past month, as various species move southwards in search of pastures; consequently the wildlife viewing is really excellent at this time.

In Laikipia we all depend upon visitors to sustain our conservation operations, and we would therefore urge people to visit this beautiful county as the areas affected begin their slow return to normality with the onset of the rains.

30th March – Update

We are very saddened to hear that the Mukutan Retreat on the Laikipia Nature Conservancy in northwestern Laikipia was burned down last night by Pokot pastoralists in revenge for the killing of some of their cattle in a police operation to remove them from their illegal occupation of the Conservancy. We offer our condolences to the owners, management and staff of the Laikipia Nature Conservancy.

We continue to support the recent renewed efforts of government to remove pastoralist groups (emanating from outside Laikipia) from their illegal occupation of ranches in northwestern Laikipia.

In the meantime the Ol Pejeta Conservancy continues to operate as normal.

14th March – Update

As of today’s date pastoralists and their cattle continue to occupy ranches in northern and western Laikipia including: Sosian, Suyian, Laikipia nature Conservancy, Mugie Conservancy and Ol Maisor.

At this time Ol Pejeta Conservancy is entirely unaffected and operating as normal.