Government officials on Wednesday pleaded with residents in Vipingo and Takaungu villages in Kilifi County, to calm down, as the irate locals whose over 200 cattle died in bizarre circumstances on Tuesday, demanded to know what had killed their animals.
The locals blamed an area manufacturing plant, which they alleged may have released toxins into grazing fields where the cattle fed before they died.
On Wednesday a Baraka FM reporter counted at least 200 carcasses of the cattle in the area, with reports that several others were still lying away in the grazing fields.
Angry residents started blocking feeder roads leading to the manufacturing plant, as Kilifi County commissioner Elijah Ekidor and area OCPD Justine Nyaga beseeched them to be patient.
Officials also warned the residents as reports went round that locals had began quickly slaughtering, selling and even eating meat from the carcasses.
“Everybody who is affected should go to Kijipwa police station and report, and also record how many cattle they have lost,” Ekidor told the residents on Wednesday.
Affected victims told Baraka FM that their cattle had been well as they left for grazing earlier on Tuesday.
“When they returned, they began looking restless, and in a short while they were foaming before they collapsed one after the other and died. This is a big loss,” Patrick Katana Charo, a resident who said he lost 23 cattle, told Baraka FM.
The residents demanded to be allowed to provide their own independent veterinary officer to work alongside the government investigators, saying they could not trust the government vets alone to give accurate reports on the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their animals.
They also said they would demand compensation.
Ekidor said affected residents whose source of livelihood had been interrupted by the deaths, would be supplied with food aid beginning Thursday.