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Governor to engage national government agencies to address human-wildlife conflict in Rimoi

By October 17, 2022 No Comments

The County government of Elgeyo Marakwet will  engage   national government agencies to address community conflicts with Wildlife in Rimoi National game reserve, amid community demands to reposes their ancestral land.

H.E. governor Wesley Rotich on Monday said he will reach out to the national Land Commission NLC and Kenya Wildlife Service KWS to convene urgent meeting with communities living along the edges of the reserve.

Rotich was addressing dozens of protesters  who staged a peaceful demonstration to his Iten Town offices  demanding audience with the authorities ahead of a planned Wildlife restocking program coupled with an alleged expiry of a lease agreement between the defunct Iten-Tambach County Council and KWS.

The locals claimed to have gotten a wind of KWS plans to ferry Giraffes to Rimoi in the coming few days, a move which they termed as  “unwelcome”.

The locals through their representatives  Daniel Chesire, Mzee Wilson Kiptoo  and Patrick Chemwolo threatened to take unspecified action to air their grievances.

According to Mzee Kiptoo the community has over time written numerous grievances to  authorities but attempts to get government attention encountered futility.

” Your Excellency, we cannot be tossed from here and there over our ancestral land. We want the land to revert to our community,” said Mzee Kiptoo.

He said :”We live with animals and remember your Excellency, these are wild animals, we cannot milk them. So, what is our benefit as the host community?,”

Mr Chesire said there has never been any social Corporate investment from KWS which continued to occupy the land and carrying out restocking program despite the lease agreement lapsing.

“There are no school bursaries, no road network done by KWS  and the community has completely gained nothing. What do you want us to do?,” asked Chesire.

The governor however calmed the protestors promising to undertake the assignment to intervene by reaching out to the relevant agencies as soon as possible to address the pertinent matter.

“If there is something that I value is telling you the truth however bitter or brutal it may be. Issues to do with land, entirely rests with the national land Commission. What I can do is to engage them and schedule a meeting with you to draw a road map towards addressing the grievances,” said Rotich.

The governor however dispelled  claims that there was a significant amount of revenue generated from the reserve.

“I want to tell you that having checked from the records, it is only about Sh. 400,000 which is generated from the reserve, and therefore there was nothing beyond this,” explained the County Chief.

The governor said there was need to devise ways which the community would benefit from the reserve either directly or indirectly by exploiting tourism potential.

“I am only one Month old since I occupied this office. I started duty from streamlining the healthcare and thereafter I will get into other sectors tourism included. So give me time,” said the Governor.

Rotich  had cordially ushered the protestors into his courtyard, reminding them that “Bottom Up” government will always handle hustlers with the highest esteem.

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