Just received 24 Feb 2017 evening
All ok here, crazy amounts of olive trees being cut which is sad. Fence cut in one place today, it’s pretty irritating as there is a gate about 200m from where it was cut! Seven new buffalo carcasses found today so still quite a bit of that going on!
Just received 23rd Feb
All well our side although a few hiccups with fixing the fence, insulators broken and some wire cut, we got the dogs onto it, one lot into Suguta Marmar the others got lost amongst cow and goat tracks on the farm.
Two solar panels stolen, again dogs followed, they were put on a motor bike and last position was around Logorate village on the northern side.
One of our Vehicles driving back from its rounds this evening got a shot put over it, very strange as this is the first incident of this kind since we started. This was reported to the county police commander.
Lots of olive trees still being cut for cows, sheep and goats.
Just received 20th Feb
All good our end, quite a few more cows have headed south today, I guess to Suyian, Sosian and Ol Maisor.
We have large numbers of sheep and goats though.Lots of the Olive trees are being cut to feed livestock.
One more dead buffalo and an impala found today.
KWS responded quickly to 3 shots heard yesterday evening, some exchange of fired took place at the scene but no casualties either side. I’m very impressed with their communications and team work through out the whole organisation of KWS.
The chief got shot at today trying to recover some of our cows on LNC boundary, again no one hurt but crazy that he gets shot at like that, he is going to try again tomorrow.
Fences going back up full steam ahead but so much wire is missing.
Received 18th Feb pm
All good here, no rain which is fine with us.Large mobs of cattle heading south since 3 am, mixture of Pokot and Samburu.We still have a couple thousand cattle around and huge numbers of sheep and goats. We are working on getting the fence up but seem to be having issues on the boundary with Lengees and Longewan as they keep cutting the wire and posts after it’s put up.We are doing a big sweep with KWS at the moment, over 20 buffalo carcasses and 10 elephant so far. The smaller animals have been killed in large numbers too.
Ranchers Meet Security team
The government has deployed more officers and armored vehicles to assist in an ongoing operation to flash out ball illegal herders from private ranches in Laikipia.
Over two hundred more officers will join their colleagues in parts of Mugie, Suyian, Kifuko, Ol Maisor and Mutara ranches where thousands of herds of cattle have been grazing illegally.
Addressing the media after a daylong between the County security team and ranchers in Nanyuki on Wednesday, Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Wanyama Musiambo noted that the operation will go on until all the animals are moved out of Laikipia.
He however declined to quantify the number of animals they have managed to move out so far, and even the number of illegal guns they have been able to recover from the heavily armed herders.
Musiambo agreed that the invasions could have another twist apart from the escalating drought noting that the herders thinking is that they might flash out the white settlers from their ranches and occupy the land.
The RC noted that this will not be allowed and any politician inciting the invaders will be met by the full force of the law.
He said that there is no land for sale in Laikipia and those with that mentality should think otherwise.
Laikipia Farmers Association chairman Martin Evans of Ol Maisor Ranch noted that the government is doing little to evict the herders adding that they are being removed from one farm and left on the road finding it easy for them to invade the next.
Evans said that there is massive destruction of environment by the thousands of animals which are depleting every cover on the ground something that might take years to recover.
He urged the government to consider reducing the number of animals by buying from these herders so that they can have a number that can be contained in their farms.
Laikipia governor Joshua Irungu however noted that the county was not on fire as a section of the media has portrayed noting that the situation is under control.
This is the complete interview I did for Nation TV on 1st Feb, the Nation TV crew were due on 31st Jan but had to turn back due to the ongoing shooting during and after a stock theft…its pretty long but helps explain the whole picture of what’s been happening here. With thanks to Sheila Sendeyo of NationTV who kindly shared it with me.
A long and hopefully productive day in Nanyuki at a security meeting which we all hope will help sort out the situation with the illegal grazing….
Meanwhile back at the farm things were busy, more wall rebuilding …some sections are being left intact which is great, others are rebroken daily especially on our eastern boundary and another section on the southern boundary.
Still livestock coming in, mostly small stock but some smaller mobs of cattle….and a large herd of small stock on the western boundary seen when continuing with the wall rebuilding.
While rebuilding today on the western boundary the rebuilding crew together with George could see 2 armed people outside the farm who they watched and sure enough they didn’t have good intentions…..they came into the farm behind the crew and then about 6 other armed men joined from the front with the intention of ambushing them. Luckily George knows more about the farm tracks than the illegal grazers and managed to evade them. The police arrived soon after the incident but the armed men had already disappeared off the farm together with the livestock.
And so the craziness continues……on the positive side it was good to be off the farm for a while, had a lift with a good friend so didn’t have to drive. Enjoyed a cappuccino, very briefly saw some friends and came home with a KFC takeaway for George !!
Not what one could call a good day……seeing and trying to tidy up all the damage…and retrieve stuff before it disappears and then on top of that craziness was for the crew to be ambushed and shot at, luckily no one hurt.
Illegal livestock still coming in on eastern boundary and some small stock seen on western boundary….all added up to a shitty day leaving one feeling beyond angry and depressed
BUT the day did improve when a friend pitched up with a long awaited spare for a tractor and if that wasn’t enough a present of lots of dairy meal for the cows…..Thank you so so much xxx