EGYPT, November 7, 2022–Kenyan President William Ruto has some worrying figures.
He says that high water stress is expected to displace up to 700 million people by 2030.
Meanwhile, drought-related hazards have killed about half a million people over the past 50 years.
And flood-related disasters have caused more than 20,000 deaths in Africa alone in the same timeframe.
Such disasters have “visited misery on millions of people” he says, adding that world leaders “cannot afford to spend more time skirting around the real issues”.
“Further delay will make us busy spectators as calamity wipes out lives and livelihoods.”
President Ruto said on Twitter “Kenya reaffirms its steadfast dedication to the conservation of environment. We remain committed to being in the frontline in sustainable land use and the conservation, protection, management and restoration of forests.”
President Ruto said in a second tweet on Twitter “Shared our plan to accelerate reforestation in Kenya during the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) hosted by United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the ongoing COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
President Ruto delivered remarks on the issues regarding cattle rustling and banditry in Kenya.
In October, “Herders from Loiwat area in Baringo county were attacked as they grazed near the Marakwet east sub-county, by bandits from another community, who escaped with more than 1,000 livestock.”
Fred Matiangi, the cabinet secretary for interior and coordination of national government, said the bandits of Kerio Valley will be met with a new level of force and fire as soon as the National Security Council approves the naming of Pokot warriors as an outlawed terrorist group.
“It’s no longer a matter of cattle rustling, because there were no cattle on the school bus. It’s clear that this is a criminal organization that is disguised as cattle rustlers. We are going to apply a new level of force and fire to end the menace in Kerio Valley,” he said.
Several schools have been closed in the affected counties following the bandit attacks even as class eight and form four students are set to take their national exams next week.
In Nigeria, cattle rustling is not only on the rise but it’s increasingly being linked to Boko Haram Islamist militant group, as a source of income.
In a motion to parliament last week, Kabir Tukura, a member of the House of Representatives of Kebbi state, said hundreds of bandits passed through Waje, Sabon-Layi, Zuttu and Kangon Wasagu, where they killed several people and escaped with more than 1,000 cows, Vanguard reported.
The motion was adopted, after which the House of Representatives urged President Muhammadu Buhari to deploy all the law enforcement agencies as well as the newly acquired super Tucano fighter jets to bombard the suspected camps of terrorists.
In Uganda, the government has implemented new measures to tackle cattle rustling following increased incidences in the northern part of the country, especially in Agago district and parts of Teso sub-region.
The strategies include re-organization of the Anti-Stock Theft Unit and the introduction of the Kraal protection local personnel.
While making the presentation before parliament on Feb 8, David Muhoozi, the minister of state for internal affairs, said they will work with the Internal Security Organization to recruit low cadre Internal Security Organization staff from the villages, who will help when it comes to early warning.
According to Enact Africa, a research organization, traditionally cattle rustling was an accepted cultural practice, especially in east Africa, to acquire livestock to replenish decimated herds after periods of drought.
It was also used as a process through which young men popularly known as warriors exhibited bravery that was key to defending community property, specifically livestock and territory.
Raiding was also the only means through which livestock was acquired for the payment of dowries.
However, use of automatic weapons such as AK-47s saw the cultural practice of cattle raiding evolve into cattle rustling, a violent organized criminal enterprise aimed at acquiring cattle for commercial gain.
11 People Killed In Northern Kenya In A Cattle-Rustling Attack
Police confirmed that 11 people were killed in October in northern Kenya in a cattle-rustling attack.
National Police Service (NPS) said officers were pursuing heavily armed bandits from the Pokot community who raided a village in the Eastern part of Turkana County and stole cattle.
“A local chief, two members of the public and eight police officers succumbed to the injuries,” police spokesman Bruno Shioso said in the statement. “We have dispatched additional officers to reinforce the troops on the ground in beefing up security in the area and pursue the bandits.”
There have been numerous cases of cattle rustling in northern Kenya as nomadic pastoralist communities lose thousands of livestock to a drought that, according to the government, has left millions on the brink of starvation.
Source: Sky News, China Daily and Twitter contributed to the article.