Kitui East MP Nimrod Mbai has asked all Somali herders in his constituency to leave in 10 days.
In a post on his official Facebook account on Sunday, the MP said a weekend meeting with residents agreed that it won’t be business as usual.
“Locals have been suffering as the herders have encroached on their farms. They need to save their source of livelihood,” he said.
“We have tried [everything] but they keep encroaching on our land. Kama ni mbaya itakuwa mbaya (loosely translates to ‘let the worst happen’).. [we cannot watch as they] feed their camels on our farms.”
Mbai said the animals have caused bees to fly away from their hives, “killing the main source of livelihoods for Kitui residents”.
“Locals here cannot even visit their farms because they think they are being attacked … this habit of using our water and pasture then leaving after it dries up is bad because we are the ones left suffering,” he said.
Kitui deputy county commissioner Benjamin Nzioka asked the herders to leave peacefully so normalcy is restored.
“We understand there is a shortage of water, and that they need to feed their animals, but we hope they can solve this amicably and that everyone’s routine will resume.”