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Kitui residents decry invasion of farms by camel herders


Friday April 5, 2019
By BONIFACE MWANIKI


Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi addressing residents of Engamba in Nuu, Mwingi East Sub-County. The MP called on the national government to come to the aid of residents whose security is threatened after hundreds of camel herders invaded their farms. PHOTO | BONIFACE MWANIKI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Residents of Kitui County living along the border with Tana River are now living in fear of attacks with some fleeing their homes following an influx of camel herders of Somali origin.

The areas which have been affected include parts of Mwingi like Ukasi, Kalamba, Kandolongwe, Engamba in Mwingi Central Constituency and parts of Mutha in Kitui South Constituency.

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According to Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi who toured the affected areas in his constituency on Tuesday, several schools might close before the term ends after most parents withdrew their children.

LEARNING DISRUPTED

Learning at Engamba Primary School has already been disrupted due to rising cases of insecurity in the area while neighbouring Kamuluyuni Primary School has only 57 pupils.

Dr Mulyungi also complained that more than 1,000 herders have set up a residential camp in his constituency where they are living with their families.

It is reported that the herders are being supplied with water using boozers.

“These people have invaded all the farms at Engamba in Nuu where they have established a camp. Education has completely been paralysed in the nearby schools. The government must intervene to rescue the situation,” said Dr Mulyungi.

CALL FOR INTERVENTION

The legislator said that there is need for the national government to intervene and save the situation before insecurity along the border rises.

More than 30 people have lost their lives owing to clashes between Somali herders and Kamba farmers in the last two years.

“It’s worth noting that in the last two years we have lost more than 30 Kambas owing to border insecurity hence the need for the national government to immediately intervene before any blood is shed,” added MP.

PLANTING SEASON

He said that planting season for the long rains is on and it is sad that his constituents have fled their homes for fear of attacks instead of farming.

He said that it has been established that most herders who have invaded his constituency are from Wajir County and not Tana River which is the immediate neighbour of Kitui County.

Jacob Maundu, a former MCA for Nuu Ward and whose farm has been invaded by the herders, says that residents have been suffering in the hands of the camel herders since the 1990s and the government ought to take action to ensure that a permanent solution is found.

“We have been suffering in the hands of these herders since 1992 when they first invaded our area. Many people have lost their lives since then and now a time has come when the government ought to find a lasting solution to the problem,” he said.



 





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