Herder-farmer conflict hindering cohesion in Lamu

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Lamu, KENYA: The issue of conflicts between herders and farmers in Lamu was a dominant topic during all meetings held by the joint house committee on committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity in the county.

The committee returned to Lamu County this week to assess the security and cohesion situation among communities four years after the Mpeketoni Alshabaab terror attacks and the environs in June 2014.

Locals who spoke to the committee in Mpeketoni,Mavuno,Poromoko and Pangani areas where the commission toured mentioned constant conflicts between herders and farmers as being the biggest challenge to the achievement of total peace and cohesion among communities in Lamu.

Speaking on Thursday,residents said the situation had escalated with the ongoing drought situation and that without drastic measures, the situation was a bomb in waiting since it might prompt clashes between the two sides.

Residents proposed that alternative areas be set aside specifically for herders to graze their livestock in order to help reduce conflict between the two sides.

“The government to set aside pasturelands for herders so that they find no excuse to cross into farmlands to graze their animals.if that can happen sooner,then this conflicts might reduce,”said Mohamed Dika.

The locals also urged the government to resolve the issue of lack of title deeds for land owners in the area saying it was also a major contributor to constant squabbles and a lack of peace.

The committee chairperson Johnson Sakaja pledged to ensure all the issues raised are resolved in due time in order to pave way for lasting peace and cohesion among communities in Lamu.

Sakaja said the committee will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of peace especially ahead of the forthcoming general elections.

Others present were Tana River senator Ali Bule,Yatta MP Francis Mwangangi,North Horr MP Chachu Ganya,Alego Usonga MP Muluan Omondi among others.

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