The second arid and semi-arid lands conference ended last week with a call for removal of inter-county levies and fees imposed on pastoralists in search of pasture. Leaders from pastoralist communities said the livestock sector was facing numerous challenges, among them cross-county taxation and levies and called for integrated management to cushion pastoralists from further losses.
Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku said removal of the licences and fees would create a favourable business environment for the livestock enterprise which accounts for 80 percent of the region’s wealth.
Mr Lenku said grazing spaces should not be seen as idle lands, adding that consideration should be given so that sub-division of land should not make the parcels unviable.
“We are calling for the abolishment of levies and taxes on cross- county pastoralism to ease movement of animals,” said Mr Lenku last week at the closing ceremony of the conference held at Mada Hotel, in Amboseli National Park, Kajiado County.
“The livestock enterprise must be enhanced and made friendly as it is being done for other sectors. Restrictions in the movement of livestock where licences and fees are required to move livestock from one county to the other, hamper trade,” he added.
The leaders resolved to push for reform of land use policies to safeguard pastoralism, adding that rampant sub-division of grazing lands was a big threat.
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“We feel as pastoralists that the perception that grazing lands are idle parcels is misplaced and has led to haphazard sub-divisions that are eating into grazing fields.”
The three-day conference themed, “Consolidating ASAL Gains for Posterity”, was opened by Devolution Cabinet Secretary, Eugene Wamalwa, on Tuesday and ended on Thursday, with a raft of resolutions being passed, wait for fine-tuning and adoption by the Council of Governors.
Livestock movements across counties and landscape must still account for other issues! While an already stressed pastoralist system in Kenya needs better access to quality inputs, better rangelands management, and reduced levies on livestock movement, we must still account for management of these movements and eliminate the spread of diseases!