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Central Kenya Ranchers Suffer from Ongoing Insecurity

Kenya Laikipia Migrant Herders Kerio Valley Baringo

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#21 Paolo

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 06:02 PM

@SafariChick

I only have a hard copy (bought in Nanyuki a few years ago). Not sure if it is online. Maybe one could contact the Laikipia Wildlife Forum through their FB page.
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#22 SafariChick

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 06:02 PM

@Paolo ok thanks. 



#23 optig

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 06:13 PM

@Safaritchick I'd like to talk to you.



#24 Botswanadreams

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 06:29 PM

Laikipia-map-small.jpg

 

 


Edited by Botswanadreams, 30 January 2017 - 06:33 PM.

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“All I wanted to do was get back to Africa. We had not left it, yet, but when I would wake in the night I would lie, listening, homesick for it already."

Ernest Hemingway

 

www.botswanadreams.de

 


#25 Botswanadreams

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 06:29 PM

 

Maybe this map helps a bit.


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“All I wanted to do was get back to Africa. We had not left it, yet, but when I would wake in the night I would lie, listening, homesick for it already."

Ernest Hemingway

 

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#26 Safaridude

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 09:25 PM

It is true that much of the invasions are politically motivated.  On the other hand, there now is a real drought problem.

 

The March-May long rains in 2016 in the Laikipia area as well as the "northern rangelands" were generally better than average.  However, the land invasions began as early as July/Aug even when the traditional grazing lands in the north were still in good shape.  Murphy's Law would have it that the Oct-Dec short rains nearly failed in the north, so now there is a genuine drought.

 

Livestock numbers have been building up there for several years and now you are seeing the consequences.


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#27 lmonmm

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 11:26 PM

Just so sad to be reading all of this. All I know is I'm glad I put my trip to Kenya this year on hold (for other reasons, but in retrospect....). This is the kind of stuff that kills tourism in a country. Can you imagine what those tourists who were evacuated are going to say when they return? That gets out there, gets spread around. I personally would hate to be on a trip (that cost me a fair amount) and have to get evacuated because of such unrest. It doesn't help. And I am so so sad for the people there who run these places, the staff, the owners. Just not good. And don't even get me started on the wildlife. Ugh. LWC was on my list for places to stay.....just can't even bear the thought it might be gone if this keeps going. Sorry everyone...just too much damn bad news these days (I live in the US and look at the shit show we have going here)...having trouble keeping my head up.


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#28 pault

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 01:02 AM

The Suyian burning just happened in case anybody reading is wondering.

And it apparently wasn't the Samburu or Pokot (who carried out the rest of the invasions) but more local Massai. And the burning and looting seems partially to be in response to the shooting dead of one of the MaasaI.

Just pointing out some relevant stuff for gentle readers who may draw a conclusion of escalation. The escalation (if any) would be that the Maasai joined in.

Another attack that seems very targeted and organised but perhaps this is just how it appears after the event.

Oh dear, all this is really hard to read about. I think I need to go to the hyrax thread for a few minutes.

 

 

 

Edited to insert clarifying punctuation.


Edited by pault, 31 January 2017 - 02:08 AM.

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#29 pault

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 02:08 AM

@Safaridude  Very good point about the drought clearly not being what started this.I wasn't aware that it had started that early. Also, now the drought back in Baringo and Samburu is not going to make calming this down any easier. However, were the earlier incursions as aggressive and if not, were they much different from what has being going on pretty much every year, with varying degrees of conflict (some arguably worse that the current events) around it?   And it's election campaign time now too!! That's got to be a fafctor in the government inaction and  perhaps in the invasions themselves.

 

Yours,

Confused in Bangkok

 

And @Paolo Ol Jogi is further east too - may be a reason, as well as the security. Loisaba seems to have more or less escaped so far (touch wood) after an initial skirmish. Nomral invading Samburu over there rather than "doing a job" invading Samburu? Just nicer chaps? Biut who knows?

 

.


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#30 pault

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 02:26 AM

@Imonmm

What are the tourists going to say? Here are my guesses:

 

"Suyian puts the adventure back into adventure tourism."

"The whole village and their livestock came to see us off on the final day - even got a 21-gun royal salute from them..So touching. The fairytale end to the fairytale honeymoon!."

"Desserts were very good but the meat was rather overdone." (Someebody always says that)

 

Chin up. It's really sad and now very unpredictable, but LWC isn't gone yet and now this willl presumably hit the international news and result in a UK travel advisory,,, if His Eminence can stop issuing Royal Decrees for a couple of hours  to free up some journalists.


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#31 SafariChick

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 06:15 AM

@pault your first line is very similar to what my husband said when I mentioned the concerns to him.  ;)
 
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#32 Kitsafari

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 06:41 AM

My view is that as long as the Kenyan government is not taking any serious and major action against the illegal land grabs and violence against the ranchers and legal owners, it will be seen as weak and others will exploit the lack of strong action (easy to do the talk then walk the talk). the adverse consequence would be a spread of such land grabs and incursions outside Laikipia. Hopefully my Gloom and Doom view is just fantasy and not real life. 


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#33 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 06:45 AM

@SafariChick - Safe travels to you and Steve........ I'm sure Steve and Annabelle would give their clients a heads up if things got really dire!!!  I would definitely trust their judgement ......... now go find the wild dogs!!! 


Edited by madaboutcheetah, 31 January 2017 - 06:46 AM.

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#34 optig

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 07:38 AM

@SafariChick I'm so glad that you'll make it to Laikipia Wilderness Camp and that you'll be able to see what for many of us are our favorite animal-wild dogs. I can't wait

to hear about Bale Mountain Lodge which is high on my list of properties which I'd love to visit. I hope that you and Steve travel safely.


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#35 Anita

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 10:32 AM

I am probably going to regret posting this but given quite a few muddled responses on the issue at hand, it's worth a shot to atleast try to enlighten what really is happening and what really is the crux of the issue atleast for some of us who have been speaking to on ground conservation teams in and around Laikipia.

At the most high level for those initiated or uninitiated into the politics of land, cattle, tribes, votes, elections, arm funding, money laundering through cattle, ivory poaching etc, there is the issue of conservation. For a lot of tourists there is the issue of their safety as well as if they will see those two wild dogs packs if they go to LWC/Sosian etc. The latter is not a small matter and for all of us our safety is paramount and we are heavily involved in what we will get to see - so this is normal. However two things - this is not the crux of the issue here, atleast not yet and secondly just because tourist safety or tourist experience is not the crux of the issue here, does not mean that this whole land invasion is not very very serious or it is just peaceful herdsmen looking for grass. Nope. Not even in the Mara is it always peaceful herdsmen looking for grass but what's happening in Laikipia is so much more worse and serious than what everyone is used to in the Mara that we all run the risk of over generalising this thing. It is also different to what we have heard from Tsavo which is a much larger scale than Mara. Those are still peaceful herdsmen looking for grazing but there is a lot more aggression in what's happening in Laikipia ( And the history of conflict in Samburu and Pokot is a lot different than conflict from Maasai). What's serious is the thousands and thousands of cattle ( where did the money come from?) what's serious is the continuing emboldening of the herdsmen ( the scale of attack keeps increasing, the duration is now close to 6months), what's serious is the animal slaughter (who cares about the giraffes and the elephants as long as we see the dogs eh?,why are almost all elephants killed with tusks being taken away- what is that going to herald in terms of the scale of ivory poaching?) How are you ever going to turn back hundreds of herders and thousands of cattle if this is continuing for so long?

I have to admit I am very surprised at LWC's response and though I enjoyed my time there it reinforces to me the fact that their involvement in Kenya as outsiders who have come in just few years back might be more diluted (no offence meant to them this is again natural if a little dangerous to brush things under the carpet- after all it is also their duty to address pure tourist concerns and technically they are right - nothing has happened in LWC yet, so it is us who need to read between lines and look at evidence as a whole) than the families who have been living their for ages and whose input on this is a lot more serious To say Suyan was burnt down because a herdsman was shot and otherwise it's all peaceful might be good for the immediate bookings but it's a little insulting to what these ranches have been going through and a little insulting to the wildlife lost. People who have been going to this and more northern parts of Kenya know how quickly wild land disappears - lack of response in time and loss of animals and habitat is not new to Kenya nor is anarchy in different degrees- however this stab st the heart of what's modern day conservation in Kenya is relatively new in both the scale and boldness and should be feared and acted upon with a lot more seriousness. Maybe these animals who have died don't have a unique mane and are not world famous lions killed at the hands of a hunter but in scale and impact this is probably thousands and thousands of time worse than Cecil or Ginger/Garlic what have you.

Edited by Anita, 31 January 2017 - 10:56 AM.

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#36 optig

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 10:56 AM

@Anita I have been to to LWC before and did see elephants, grevy zebras,reticulated giraffes,hyenas and much more. So obviously I care about the other wildlife and not just the wild dogs. I'll also be leaving for Ol Malo Camp shortly. Kenyans understand very well that this isn't the first time that happened nor will be it be the last. Does that mean that anyone should stop visiting Kenya because of the risk of pastoralists invading land for a lengthy period due to a long drought? No,not all at all. There has to be and I have no doubt will be an upgrade in security in the area. One can say whatever they want about the current government's lack of real interest in the welfare of it's citizens,but this too major for it not to react. I have seen major upgrades in security during the four years that I've been living here.  The current government does have a very solid record against poaching. 



#37 Anita

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 10:59 AM

@optig no one is talking about visiting Kenya or not. There is no need to divert attention from what needs international pressure, just to assuage tourist fears. That's called penny wise pound foolish in my books in the world of conservation. It's not about us. This is not about us. It is not about our security and our fears at a personal level and it is not about our feelings. It's about the impact of what's happening in Laikipia on the habitat wildlife and the conservation story.

Edited by Anita, 31 January 2017 - 11:00 AM.

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#38 douglaswise

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 12:05 PM

It might be worth looking at the discussion from a wider perspective.  Many of those propounding the conservancy model of conservation correctly argue that local pastoralists deserve to derive benefit directly from the continuing existence or expansion of wildlife.  In consequence, limited employment opportunities are created to service tourists and health clinics and schools are built.  However, growth in pastoralist numbers, combined with a continuing culture of pastoralism, will inevitably lead to the problems now being discussed, later if not sooner.  Regrettably, the only solution that I can envisage is resettlement and urbanisation.  However, perhaps others can envisage a rosier outcome.


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#39 Paolo

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 12:48 PM

@douglaswise

 

I think you raise a valid point on the "culture of pastoralism".

 

We often have this romantic idea of harmonious coexistence between Nilotic tribes and Wildlife...I guess it is mostly a myth. Or - better put - it worked in an age where human population was very low, livestock numbers were moderate, and wildlife and space were plentiful. The few instances I can think of where - for now - the situation is somewhat under control are all areas were human population - for various reasons - is limited.

 

Changing the culture of "the more cattle the better" is very difficult in an age of exponential growth of human population. Actually, Laikipia ranches and their land-ownerswere doing a decent job in shifting the emphasis from number of cattle to quality of cattle. The Northern Rangelands Trust was doing a good effort in regulating and rotating grazing rights in exchange to the access to a better market otherwise impossible to reach (f.e. communities in Namunyak could sell their cattle through Lewa, way more effectively and at better prices).

 

Now these criminal (there is no other word for it, and as long as we will keep denying the criminal nature of these acts we will only be delusional, as @Anita points out) invasions are also putting in jeopardy the whole idea that there can be an alternative approach to an ever increasing ever consuming pastoralism.

 

What is utterly tragic - and peculiar, compared to other "land invasions" - is that this process has been directly and indirectly fuelled by the fact that those thousands heads of cattle are not owned by small scale pastoralists (which would in fact benefit from schemes such as the NRT's one mentioned above) but by "big men" who finds in buying more cattle a way of both laundering the money they gain from illicit and corrupt activities and increase their prestige.

 

If t tourism will  - as it seems likely - suffer, it will be a further blow. But the "Laikipia model" dates back before tourism was playing a significant role. Still now, huge ranches like Ol Jogi and Mpala - extremely important for wildlife - see very limited tourism or no tourism at all.

 

And it is this entire model - as well as wildlife, livelihoods, property and legitimate, good quality cattle of the landowners - that is under serious siege here.

 

Apologies if I could not envisage a rosier outcome right now.


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#40 pault

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 05:23 AM

@Anita  Welcome to you too. :mellow:  What a very important point that is you made and Paolo followed up on. I am feeling concerened about what all this means for exactly this reason, although I can't join the dots at all and there is such a mix of issues here. These events raise really serious questions about the sustainabilty of current, successful conservation models in Kenya and the future of wildlife in central/ northern Kenya. Of course that ruins my holday plans too, but hmmm... which is the one of those two things that I should have my eye on? 

 

But I have wandering eyes......... :blink:

 

Thanks for possibly making yourself sorry - hopefully you'll be really sorry because I still have to hope that the apocalypse can be avoided somehow, but never be sorry you raised the issue. It seems a clear and present danger now and it is different from issues of tourist safety or convenience, even if the ttwo are intertwined to some extent.

 

Anyway, it seems to be getting close to  the horrible point where things will become even clearer.


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