Armed herders invade Laikipia ranch, harass elephants as tourists watch (Kenya)


Agatha Ngotho, The Star

Date Published

Armed herders yesterday invaded Suyian Ranch in Laikipia and harassed elephants at a tourist camp area in front of the visitors. Witnesses said they had guns and walkie talkies.

The ranch, which borrows its name from a Maa word for the African wild dog, is home to the largest concentrations of wildlife in the Laikipia ecosystem.

For the last four months, herders have invaded Laikipia and Nyeri counties in search of pasture and water as drought has ravaged most counties.

The government has warned of dire consequences for those grazing illegally. Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri recently told pastoralists to leave the county, adding that the government would provide them with water and hay for their animals.

He asked police to drive away Samburu and Pokot pastoralists who have invaded the two counties. About 10,000 pastoralists from Baringo, Isiolo and Samburu counties with around 135,000 cattle have invaded Laikipia.