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Central Kenya Ranchers Suffer from Ongoing Insecurity

Kenya Laikipia Migrant Herders Kerio Valley Baringo

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#41 pault

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 06:39 AM

Trying to keep issues separate - probably either futile or stupid,  but it can;t do much harm...

 

I'm not sure it is fair to drag Steve Carey into this based on comments reported thrid or so hand, probbaly in response to a very specific question.and I wonder whether he is really referring to every incident in Laikipia or the specific incident at Suyian, which did appear to have been a more local matter. The Star is now reporting Samburu presence and a lot of weapons and seems to contrdict that - as does the alleged involvement of a bigman, but are there sources for that involvement other than the Star?

 

Anyway, I have never met Steve and have no idea whether he wants to be a poster boy for the "it's all drought-related grazing issues" camp, but it might be better to clarify that with him before making it so. This stuff might get requoted eventually..

 

I'm even less sure his wife would hold identical views.

 

 

That's actually a small, nit-picky sort of matter, but it's the kind of thing that can sometimes fester or kick off for reasons I never fully understand, isn't it? 

 

 

 

Now I need to head back to the hyrax thread to try to undo the harm I did in my enthusiasm to forget about Laikipia yesterday. Is that what self-moderation is?  :lol: 


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#42 Anita

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 06:43 AM

@pault I have 2017, 2018, 2019 plans for Kenya. Hopefully I don't lose hope. However in Kenya it is altogether very possible that you can lose the habitat and animals without posing any serious security threat. Up North the Turkana kill everything that moves, the remoteness has preserved the habitat but the animals are gone. You probably know about Kora and the despair of conservationists to restore it, better than I do.

Star newspaper numbered cattle heads on this invasion at 113.000 and herdsmen at 10-13000. The numbers are just too much to sustain and if this is the growth rate of cattle, then at best law and order and rains can only delay the inevitable. Rivers are dried up and wildlife is being squeezed into smaller and smaller areas. Like @douglaswise I don't think there is any solution except urbanisation. No security or conservation strategy would work unless it directly addresses the number of cattle heads. Obviously the politics will make that almost impossible.
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#43 Anita

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 06:59 AM

@pault you are too fast!( I see you have also posted already on the hyrax thread so hopefully the world is a better place

I agree Careys should not be dragged in this. @SafariChick did say incidents being about grazing and I did say they have a duty to assuage tourist concerns. The only point I wanted to make was that what was third hand quoted is not seen as someone in there actually stating facts but in fact should be seen as addressing a very specific concern in the manner tourism industry would. If WS or GPC had made similar statements we know what the sceptics would say!

As I said these are two separate issues completely right now at this very minute in the context of LWC but Laikipia is a bit bigger than just LWC. The herdsmen just a little too violent a little too armed and a little too many in numbers and a little too much of looting, wild life slaying, burning, criminal politicians for it all to be peaceful. If I were visiting LWC now, I wouldn't bother changing plans too but would definitely question the peaceful grazing interpretation.
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#44 pault

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 07:00 AM

I think our posts crossed!! Hate that!

Yes Kora. I know....
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#45 pault

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 07:09 AM

Haha... crossed again!

 

Yes, not arguing with that point..

 

More worried about relying too much on the Star as a source to be honest (not that I have anything particularly against the Star) - but nobody else is talking much.


Edited by pault, 01 February 2017 - 07:11 AM.

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#46 Paolo

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 09:21 AM

To put things into perspecrive, according to this study reported by the East African Wild Life Society, since the time of my first visit to Kenya, the numberss of the most common 18 wildlife species (wildebeest, zebra, eland, hartebeest etc...) in Kenya's rangelands have fallen by more than two thirds. Conversely, numbers of livestock have increased by more than 76%.

 

https://www.swara.co...bers-grow-study

 

The Laikipia Plateau was one area were the wildlife decline was less pronounced - or in some cases wildlife numbers were even increasing. And now we have this - it is just unsustainable.

 

@pault - I cannot express any judgement  as to the reliability of the Star, but my sources tell me that the situation is really dire. So much that invasions in ranch A of 20,000 heads of cattle (terrible per se on the habitat and the wildlife) are considered after all not horrible since there is no loss of property or looting or shooting.

 

This situation might have been bubbling under the surface for a while, but I guess that - understandably - many Laikipia land-owners or tourist operators might have painted a somewhat rosier picture than reality. Then when it worsened they still kept painting a rosier picture. But there comes a point when the gap between (good faith) representation and reality is just too wide, and these invasions happen, and we are all "surprised".

 

It would seem that in the next couple of weeks many parts of Kenya will receive some unexpected and much needed rain. From what I see, it is already pouring in the Mara. Amboseli received 40 mm of rain in the night between Monday and Tuesday. If these rains reach Laikipia, hopefully some of the pressure on the ranches/conservancies will be eased.

 

But thinking that help from the weather is even a partial solution to the current issues would be in my view  a tragic mistake, with fatal consequences on the wildlife and habitat of such a beautiful and hospitable part of the country.


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#47 Tom Kellie

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 11:52 AM

ol pejeta.png

 

 


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#48 Kitsafari

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 02:01 PM

@Tom Kellie thanks for the update. Wish it didnt but it does sort of Confirm my fears.
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#49 pault

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Posted 01 February 2017 - 11:29 PM

Another announcement by Ol Pejeta about a scheme similar to that Paolo described for Lewa, whereby Ol Pejeta will buy cows herders cannot feed, fatten them in their farming area (while paying the former owners interest) and then sell them. It appears that herders are therefore guaranteed basic market price for the cattle, with the prospect of considerably more if their cows are still in a good enough condition to fatten and sell for meat. A longer-term effort but perhaps also part of a current peace package.

http://olpejetaconse...2947492D9797BBC

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#50 pault

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 01:47 AM

And if you read that UK has issued a travel advisory on Laikipia it appears it is not really true.

 

Here is the relevant UK travel advice page, which has a note on the situation in Laikipia but says nothing about warning against travel there. So a travel note? A travel alert? A travel "heads up"?

 

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya

 

There is a lot of news about the situation now and statemetns coming out. A lot of movement (or visible movement) compared to previous weeks. I hope someone will have the time to post links to more of the interesting ones and stuff like Tom's mail.

 

Thank you @Tom Kellie 


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#51 pault

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 02:22 AM

@Paolo  Yes, yes and "got that". :(

 

Re the Star, to clarify, I am thinking in terms of latest updates and very specific details, rather than as a source of bigger picture information. More like the tourist perspective, if you like. Obviously, sometimes a detail (like was an MP really standing there directing the burning of Suyian in full view of everybody?) can significantly change how I feel or view things, even subconsciously

 

I guess the end of the drought won''t end the problems, even in the short-term, but it would surely help quite a lot..


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#52 Anita

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 03:52 AM

@pault that depends on if drought or no drought these illegal invasions don't become a comfortable habit as well as an easy source of acquiring more cattle etc. 110000 cattle heads, primarily owned by politicians and herded along with armed men, who have looted farms and more cattle along the way, doesn't exactly sound to me like big rains and they will all say - oh let's go back to non contentious land! Though the point still remains most about the number of cattle and that no one would do anything about that so anything else is like a patch of bandaid on a growing cancer.
Ofcourse news is not news unless covered by a host of competing media even if it's in a remote location on a boring topic of herdsmen goats and a burning tourist lodge! One could argue though, why haven't strong protests and denial on what Star and few others reporting, come in yet if it is more alternate facts than reality!
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#53 Paolo

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 11:06 AM

According to this article in The Guardian, tourists have been evacuated from Sosian:

 

https://www.theguard...ldlife-laikipia

 

(@pault - incidentally, I just had further confirmation from a total reliable source in Kenya that what we read in the press is true)


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#54 pault

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 12:05 PM

Thank you @Paolo. That is doubly awful news. So, so sad.

I'd joke about a reliable source that told you to beleive everything you read in a newspaper but this is too terrible and I understand you very clearly.

The Guardian article hasn't just been thrown together this morning from archives by an intern at a desk in London either - seems like the "heads up" from the UK government was somehow part of a license for everyone to go public.

Ohhhh..... Where are my rose-tinted glasses? I can't find them.

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#55 Tom Kellie

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 12:33 PM

•  From Kenya Today: “Land Clashes Start in Rift Valley as Armed Militia Invade White Settler Land, Burn Property and Elect Permanent Traditional Manyattas”

 

http://www.kenya-tod...ional-manyattas

 

•  From Daily Nation: “Lodge Closed After Herders Invade Ranch in Laikipia”

 

http://www.nation.co...1ock/index.html

 

•  From The Star: “Samburu Building Permanent Boma on Suyian Ranch” 

 

http://www.the-star....-ranch_c1498330

 

 

Tom K.


Edited by Tom Kellie, 02 February 2017 - 12:33 PM.


#56 Tom Kellie

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 12:43 PM

•  From IHS Jane’s: “Country Risk — Violent land disputes pose damage risks to commercial farms, tourism, cargo in Kenya's Laikipia and Nyeri counties”

 

http://www.janes.com...-nyeri-counties

 

 

Tom K.


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#57 lmonmm

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 12:06 AM

I honestly can't read any more of this horrific news today. This could be the death knell for tourism in Kenya. I am totally heartbroken. Just look at Zimbabwe and what happened there...ugh....just cannot deal with all this bad news here and in Kenya. What area is next? The Mara? Samburu? Tsavo?  Tragic. I just don't understand why the government isn't trying to do something. Are they only banking on China at this point and ready to give up tourism? Just cannot deal with this. :(



#58 Paolo

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 07:05 AM

An article outlining - amongst other things - the situation at Mugie:

https://www.yahoo.co...l-sh&soc_trk=tw

Of the Laikipia ranches/conservancies I have visited, Mugie was only second to Lewa in terms of sheer numbers of wildlife on show. And now there is illegal cattle in place of the wild animals.

We are talking about the impact on tourism, Suyian burned down etc... - it is understandable, from a merely tourist perspective, but I think many people are missing the main point. The destruction to the ecosystem posed by too much, too unregulated livestock. It is the potential collapse of an entire area where there was a sort of balance amongst different forms of land utilization.

Having 135,000 illegal heads of cattle grazing in an area like Laikipia is just destructive and unsustainable - drought or no drought, tourism or no tourism, violence or no violence.

Edited by Paolo, 03 February 2017 - 07:05 AM.

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#59 Tom Kellie

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:00 AM

on-line.png

 



#60 Tom Kellie

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 09:55 AM

•  From Business Daily Africa: “Laikipia Ranch Invasions Spark Friction Between Kenya, UK”

 

http://www.businessd...74cz/index.html

 

•  From International Business Times: “FCO Updates Travel Advice for Kenya's Laikipia Region After ‘Armed Incursions’ ”

 

http://www.ibtimes.c...ursions-1604457

 

•  From Business Daily Africa: “Britain Issues Travel Alert On Laikipia Game Ranches”

 

http://www.businessd...3796082-kxyqr1/


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