A row is brewing between Kitui and Tana River leaders over the fast-diminishing water and pasture resources along counties’ border. While Kitui East MP Nimrod Mbai keeps to his directive that the herdsmen leave his constituency in 10 days or face unspecified consequences, his Balambala counterpart Abdi Shurie and Tana River Women’s Rep Anna Subow say the order is inconsequential and should be retracted.
As the leaders trade accusations, residents in Mutha and Malalani locations in Kitui South and Kitui East sub-counties have threatened to take law into their hands if herders from North Eastern region who have crossed to Kitui side through Tana River county do not take their livestock back to their areas.
Kalambani assistant chief Charles Nzoka says in the last three weeks hundreds of livestock, mostly camels from NEP have found their way into Kitui county creating tension with the locals over water and pasture related resources.
“I have tried to arbitrate the two communities through barazas but the situation is getting worse as high number of livestock has strained the limited resources forcing the herders to graze in farms hence agitating the local farmers’’, said Nzoka.
Muhamed Bule from Elwak in Wajir county and a headman for the pastoral community along the border says the pastoralists should not be harassed but ways should be sought to make the two communities co-exist peacefully as lack of water and pasture is a natural calamity.