Laikipia West residents in Kenya have asked the government to step in and stop illegal herders terrorising them.
The area is suffering a new peak of insecurity, with villagers being attacked and killed by the herders.
The number, running at hundreds for the last four months is now moving to thousands, as herders move down from Northern Laikipia, according to witness accounts.
Resident Mary Njoroge said families are being broken up as women and children flee.
In the last two weeks, multiple villagers have been shot, and some killed.
On July 28, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i gave hundreds of herders from Isiolo, Samburu and Baringo who have invaded private ranches in Laikipia seven days to leave or they are forced out.
However, resident Wilson King’ori said security forces were based only in Northern Laikipia.
Mary Njoroge, who lives near the Mukatan Conservancy (formerly Laikipia Nature Conservancy), says she has been attacked multiple times, most recently on August 5.
She told The Standard herders came to her home and fired weapons as she and her family hid in the house.
Njoroge said on Saturday night, gunshots raided the air, with three people being shot.
“They are armed. We are not.”
She said on Friday night, about 300 armed people raided Ng’ereta.
Njoroge says the community does not understand why the government is not protecting them while they have title deeds for their farms.
She says security officers are present, but they do not offer the needed help.
“Officers are there, but they do nothing.”
Those who have the means have opted to relocate.
With the general election slated for August 9 next year, Njoroge said politicians seeking their votes should act now.
“We don’t need roads and schools. We need peace. We voted for leaders but they are not helping us.”
The fighting over grazing land has been going on for years but has now escalated.