24th February – Update

The situation in western and northern Laikipia remains tense.  Suyian, Sosian and Mugie remain occupied by pastoralist groups.  There has been some killing of wildlife reported in both Mugie and Sosian.  In other parts of Laikipia pastures remain in short supply; some pastoralist groups are now reportedly moving back to Isiolo and up to Mount Kenya to seek forage for their cattle.

A meeting of local and senior government with landowners and stakeholders on Wednesday resolved to clear all ranches of illegal grazers, with progress to be reviewed again on the 8th March.

Government and the Kenya Wildlife Services have made it clear that incursions into rhino sanctuaries will not be permitted under any circumstances.

Ol Pejeta remains unaffected at the current time.

16th February 2017 – Update

There has been little change since the last update. Mugie and Suyian in northwestern Laikipia remain the 2 worst affected properties. The Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF) are now working with the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) on drought mitigation measures and Ol Pejeta will play an active role in supporting these

13th February 2017 – Update

For the last few days there has been little apparent change in the status quo.  Mugie, Laikipia Nature Conservancy and Suyian continue to struggle with massive influxes of pastoralist livestock, albeit without any violence or destruction of property.  The situation on Kifuku Ranch appears to have resolved somewhat, primarily because whatever grass remained has now been finished.  There is increasing evidence that senior government is now applying significant resources to try and resolve the issue.  Over the weekend the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and the Director General of the Kenya Wildlife Services toured the affected areas.  Furthermore, the police have clearly ramped up efforts to remove the criminal elements that sit behind the search for grass by desperate pastoralists – this is welcome and strongly supported by the Laikipia community, from large land managers through to small scale farmers.

8th February 2017 – Update

A number of ranches in north and west Laikipia including Mugie, Suyian and Kifuku remain fully occupied by pastoralists and their cattle.  Last night, in a very unfortunate incident the OCPD (Officer Commanding Police Division) of Laikipia West was injured in a confrontation with herders on Kifuku.  He will make a full recovery.  However the situation remains tense on that particular ranch even as negotiations begin to bear fruit in other areas.  Ol Pejeta, located to the south of Laikipia, remains unaffected.

7th February 2017 – Update

Matters have not changed much since yesterday. Negotiations continue to seek amicable solutions.

From various stakeholders in the region, here are some personal updates that we gathered in the last 24 hours:

From Josh Perrett, General Manager, Mugie Ranch: “We still have huge numbers of cattle, sheep and goats on Mugie, today we hear quite large groups are heading out the south apparently to Suyian and from the west back to LNC and some to Suyian.
We are constantly working very hard on dialog, KWS have been very helpful and join in with all our meetings.  We have now had 4 days where no shots were heard and no wildlife killed which is great.  Police have not been involved in any of our meetings, I am trying to get them involved but little seams to be happening.
On the whole things are peaceful and we are making good progress from where we started.”

From Tom Silvester of Loisaba: “All calm and operating normally here at Loisaba.”

From John Elias of Ol Lentille: “All quiet and beautiful here.”

An insightful article from the Standard Newspaper

“The growing tension between ranchers and pastoralists in Laikipia points to a bigger problem of law and order as well as executive impunity. This has been exacerbated by historical grievances of displacement, tribalism and political rivalry in the countdown to the August 8 General Election.”