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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A statement from the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF)
The tourism fraternity in Kenya deeply regrets to learn of the death of Tristan Voorspuy, a co-owner of Sosian Ranch and owner of Offbeat Safaris who was killed at Sosian Ranch on Sunday 5th March 2017 by unknown assailants who had trespassed onto the ranch apparently with groups of herdsmen seeking grazing for their livestock.
On behalf of all industry stakeholders we extend our condolences and sympathy to the family of Mr Voorspuy and to the other Kenyan farmers and ranch employees who have been caught up in the conflict over pasture in the affected area in recent weeks.
Sosian Ranch is one of the private ranches in northern Laikipia hosting a vibrant population of wildlife. During this year’s drought-like conditions, they are one of 7 ranches that have been invaded by hungry livestock and pastoralists.
Following the incident, we would like to clarify the following:
- The incident took place at Sosian Ranch, a 24,000 acre private ranch dedicated to cattle ranching and tourism in the Laikipia area of northern Kenya, 240 kilometres from Nairobi
- No tourists were involved in the incident and there were no tourists staying on the ranch at the time of the incident
- Laikipia is one of 47 counties within Kenya and over 9,000 square kilometres in size. It is well-known for its excellent wildlife and ecotourism facilities. Laikipia’s wildlife is second only to the Maasai Mara
- The present unrest and insecurity are restricted to a few localities and a small number of ranches and that the well-known wildlife conservancies and tourism facilities in the rest of Laikipia are not affected and remain calm and peaceful
Kenya covers an area of approximately 582,650 square kilometres and is frequently compared to an area the size of France. Tourism activity continues as normal in most of Laikipia and throughout the rest of the country with holiday-makers currently on safari in the country’s national parks and visiting its popular coastal resorts.
The Tourism Industry continues to maintain very close contact with the stakeholders in Laikipia and a fact finding trip to Laikipia was earlier carried out by Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) industry executives to assess the situation on the ground. We fully support the investigations being carried out by the police and other relevant authorities to bring the perpetrators of these lawless acts to justice.
We believe that the Government of Kenya will be giving the highest priority to restoring law and order for all the people in the affected area so that they can enjoy the normal peace and security found throughout the rest of Laikipia county.
KENYA TOURISM BOARD (KTB)
KENYA TOURISM FEDERATION (KTF)
Yesterdays news of the murder of one of the directors on Sosian Ranch has shocked us all. Our condolences are extended to his family and friends.
The situation on Sosian has become more severe after a police operation last week failed to remove the pastoralists illegally occupying the ranch.
Further meetings are scheduled this week to try and resolve the current security concerns in northwestern Laikipia.
Currently Ol Pejeta Conservancy remains unaffected and is operating normally.