Illegal hotels in Mara targeted for closure

llegally established hotels in the Maasai Mara face closure as the county government seeks to open up space for wild animals. The county’s tourism and wildlife ministry has given all lodges and camps in the world-famous reserve seven days to submit their documents for validation or be closed. From next week, they will be required to submit National Environmental Management Authority approvals, physical plans and lease agreements. The directive, by Tourism and Wildlife executive member Nelson ole Keshei, is intended to enable the county government to audit its assets, liabilities, licences and wildlife conservation programmes. In addition, is aimed at reducing illegal establishments in the game reserve to give the wildlife their space. Mr Keshei said congestion had forced animals out of their habitats into nearby conservancies.


MasaaiMara“The Mara has had challenges arising from over-development, rivalry and competition amongst developers,” he said during the signing of performance contracts by wardens and their assistants at Keekorok Lodge on Friday. He said the county government was drafting a Bill to require developers to obtain a provisional licence first.They would be required to obtain a regular licence after their establishments have satisfied Nema’s requirement that lodges and camps must not be near rivers, watering points and breeding zones and sewerage system should not cause pollution. Before a provisional licence is issued, developers must obtain clearance from the county tourism board and a nod from the Tourism and Wildlife docket. Of the 108 establishments in the reserve, only 31 (29 per cent) were operating legally, according to a survey by the Hotel and Restaurant Authority following a 2008 audit.

Coutersy of Daily Nation

Mandera floods

A bus was Thursday morning swept by floods as it tried to cross a seasonal river at Gadudia in Mandera County. The bus which was headed to Nairobi got stuck in the mud and was then swept by floods together with its passengers. “Several people have been carried away but the rest are on top of the bus after coming out through the windows,” said Mendera County Commissioner Alex ole Nkoyopic 11. “The water level is coming down and we have formed a human wall to help rescue those on the bus and those who might have drowned,” he added. Mendera Red Cross coordinator Ahmed Mohamed said at least 42 people had been rescued by 1pm while efforts to recue the other passengers were ongoing. There were also unconfirmed reports that three people were feared dead. He said the bus had 60 passengers, according to the passenger manifest. The incident occured 35 kilometres from Mandera Town. The bus was said to be the only one from Mandera that was headed to Nairobi Wednesday as other bus companies kept off the roads due to heavy rains.




One person was killed and three others injured in clashes over cattle in Isiolo County.

MeruThe clashes took place at Ariemet on Friday following revenge attacks between the Turkana and Samburu. The three who were admitted at an Isiolo hospital were injured in an earlier attack in Loruko. No livestock was stolen. Tension remained high on Saturday after residents of Burat and Ngaremara wards fled their homes to Kiwanja and Nomads area in fear of further retaliatory attacks. County Commissioner Wanyama Musiambo confirmed the incident, adding that plans were underway for a peace meeting between the two communities. He said seven people have so far died in revenge attacks since Easter. Residents of Alamach, Lowangila, Attan and Ariemet could be seen leaving with their belongings despite efforts by security personnel to assure them of their safety. The two communities have been in conflict over pasture and water for their livestock.


Mr Musiambo condemned the latest violence, calling for community leaders to move quickly to prevent further bloodshed. He appealed to the communities to co-exist peacefully. "We want a lasting solution. We don't want to experience what happened last November," he said, adding that the government would facilitate peace forums to unite the communities. Mr Musiambo said a solution to the crisis was to create a buffer zone to allow both communities' livestock to graze in their respective areas, with people crossing to the other being apprehended. The County Commissioner said adequate security personnel had been deployed to the area to prevent further attacks. Chiefs and their assistants from Attan Location, Ngaremara Ward — an area perceived to be a hotspot due to its proximity to the Attan park which has been taken over by pastoralists — were directed to give reports of their area during a meeting of security personnel in the county on Saturday. Mr Musiambo directed all pastoralists from other counties to return home following the start of rains in most parts of northern Kenya. He gave a one week ultimatum for the pastoralists at Attan park to leave. "All our wild animals have been displaced. We need to take action if the county government is unable to do its mandate," Mr Musiambo said.

Coutersy of Daily Nation

Tracking Technology

Cattle rustling has claimed hundreds of lives besides leading to loss of thousands of livestock in the recent past among pastoral communities. Seven people have been killed and more than 400 cattle and goats stolen in cattle rustling incidents along the Meru-Isiolo border in the last one month.pic 

Rumen boluses that contain radio frequency identification (RFID) microchips which are inserted in a cow’s reticulum for identification and traceability. Livestock farmers in pastoralist areas are still losing animals to raiders as the technology has not been properly implemented. 

A pilot project dubbed Electronic Livestock Identification and Traceability System (ELITS) initiated by the Directorate of Veterinary Services in 2011 was expected to tame cattle rustling.

The technology, borrowed from Botswana is a digital animal identification system that uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) microchip inserted in a cow’s reticulum. The rumen bolus that the animal swallows contains a RFID microchip and is coated with a hard ceramic to protect it from digestive juices. ELITS is touted as the solution for cattle theft as it eases animal identification compared to hot iron branding and ear notching. The microchip contains the farmer’s bio-data. The code on the bolus can be detected by a reader at close range. In case of theft, a farmer is required to report to the central data unit through the anti-stock theft unit and the code is blacklisted as a search begins. According to the Meru County Director of Veterinary Services Lawrence Mwongela, more than 8,000 cattle were fed with the reticular boluses under the pilot project.


“The digital identification boluses were meant for animals in cattle rustling prone areas. “8,177 cattle were digitally branded in Igembe North, Igembe South and Tigania East. “The digital information was fed into mobile devices and sent to a central server in Nairobi,” Mr Mwongela says. He says chiefs were also given records of livestock in their areas to enable tracing in case of theft. “The programme is very viable for pastoral communities but it was never concluded. “There is need for the government to allocate resources to revive the project. It can help tame cattle theft,” he adds. Mr Mwongela explains that a more advanced rumen bolus tracker that uses radio receivers has the potential to track an animal within a 40 kilometres radius. “We have been collecting the rumen boluses from farmers awaiting further direction. The devices are to be reused in other animals once an animal bearing the bolus dies,” he says.

Courtesy of Daily Nation.


Pastoralist Development Network - of Kenya

We are an advocacy NGO established under a Trust deed number 791 DI 4453128 in 2003. The network is a conglomeration of 60 pastoralists’ individuals, NGOs and CBOs and non-pastoralist institutions and individuals supporting pastoralists’ development process in Kenya. It draws its membership from North Rift, South Rift, North Eastern and Upper Eastern regions of Kenya representing 14 pastoralist Counties. Its mission is to lobby for the inclusion of the pastoralist agenda in mainstream development with the vision of a prosperous pastoralist society.

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