Fighting for land and water

He said he has no choice but to graze them illegally. And he’s willing to risk a fine or even having his cattle – more than 100 of them – confiscated.

“We don’t have a place to go and our cows are dying so we see that it is the only place we can get grass,” said Parare.

“They have big ranches. Some places even nothing is going there. So we also like them to see our problem and see how they can help us in this time.”

Up the road, managers at Ol Pejeta say an estimated 6,000 cattle and 3,500 sheep and goats are being grazed illegally on a section of land called Mutara that the conservancy is leasing from the Kenyan government.

In an email, Roxanne Mungai, deputy fundraising and communications manager, said there have been talks with community leaders and that a plan had been in the works to offer pastoralists water and pasture on Mutara for up to 2,000 head of livestock.

“This has not worked due to the incursions,” she said. “There are boreholes and water dams on site but recent incursions have not helped in proper management.”

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