TANA DELTA WOMEN DEMONSTRATE AMID RISING INSECURITY AND TENSION

More than 50 women from Chara in Tana Delta yesterday braved the scorching sun, distance, hunger and thirst and walked all the way from Shirikisho and adjacent villages of Chara location to the District Officer’s office at Tarasaa in Ngao location, 25 kilometers away.

They wanted to formally present their grievances to the District Officer following cases of cows being allowed to enter farms and destroy maize crops. On Tuesday,24 May 2016, the women reported that a whole herd of cattle spent the night on the farms destroying crops.

Cases of stray cows being left without shepherds is normally the cause of conflict in the Tana Delta District. Similar occurrences happened in 2002, 2012. The trend appears to be another beginning of the cycle of clashes in the District. It would be recalled that in 2013, clashes in Kilelengwani and Riketa left 52 persons dead and thousands others left homeless following similar incidents. Is this a case of history repeating itself?

It is also important to note that the pastoralists have also reported cases of cow theft to the administrators. The pointing of fingers in the district is normally a sign of worse things to come. Nonetheless, the timing of these events is suspect since, as is usually the case, general elections are scheduled to be held in 2017. With the flooding and plenty of rain, it is indeed highly unlikely that ‘scarcity of grass and drought’ is the cause for these hostile actions.

Only the other day, the County Commissioner addressed the people on the issue of insecurity and the need to keep peace. He appealed for calm and resilience as solution to the problem is being sought. These calls have been recently repeated. It is hoped the powers that be will read from this script to thwart any mischief to spoil the reigning PEACE.

The women were accompanied by other women from Laini, Oda, Golbanti and Tarasaa with their leaders who included Mzee Hussein Galole, Gasa Elder Chara Location, Samikaro Njovu Shirikisho Elder, Magasani Gasa Elder Tarasaa, and Mr. Said M Rova community development specialist.

The Deputy County Commissioner assured them that he will take necessary action to bring about cohesion in the community. The women were given food and transport back home by their counterparts in Tarasaa and the area DO.
{Report by Said Kofa. Further reporting by Abiyo Maddabbassa}

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