A major crisis is in the offing following the invasion of privately owned large scale farms in Naivasha by herders in search of water and pastures for their animals.
The large scale farmers who include horticultural growers around Lake Naivasha and some parts of Laikipia County have accused the herders of interfering with their investments even as the pastorals claimed that the farmers had closed the access corridors to Lake Naivasha watering points for their animals.
A representative of Van Den Berg Roses farm George Onyango, said the move has made investors shy away from investing more in the country despite the 2010 constitution being very clear on land tenure and termed the invasion as illegal and unconstitutional.
“We are worried by the way the invasion is being politicized as none of the political leaders have come out openly to condemn the invasion”. Onyango said.
Onyango further claimed that despite raising the matter with the relevant authorities no action had been taken adding that they had now contacted the Parliamentary select committee on Lands, the National Land Commission (NLC) and other agencies to see how they could help with the matter.
He further explained that same invasion was happening in Kericho and other parts of Naivasha where tea and flowers are grown in large scale adding that pastoralists from the neighboring counties were grazing their animals through their farms as they took their animals to watering points at Lake Naivasha and other points.
Onyango said while everybody understood the biting drought and its negative impacts on pastoralists, invading their farms was not the solution as the produce in the farms was also an investments of their livelihoods just like livestock, and called for urgent measures to be taken before the crisis gets out of control..
In Laikipia several resorts and lodges have been closed due to the sporadic invasions which have partly been blamed on politics.
On taxation, Onyango lamented over the double taxations by the county governments as they transport their goods to the airport adding that despite paying the normal Cess to the parent county, they are usually charged extra fees by all the counties before getting to their destination.
“We grow flowers in Naivasha meaning we pay Cess to the Nakuru county government but while transporting the produce to the airport we are also charged by Kiambu and Nairobi County governments and this is overstretching our resources” he lamented.