• Kenya Livestock Marketing Council chairman Dubat Amey urged the county to pass by laws to control livestock in the town
• Traders say they have been incurring huge losses as livestock eat their vegetables and fruits.
Small-scale traders in Garissa have urged the national and county governments to take action against owners of hundreds of livestock roaming the town and markets.
Cows, goats, sheep and donkeys have turned Garissa town and markets into grazing fields.
Concerned traders say they have been incurring huge losses as livestock eat their vegetables and fruits.
Speaking to the press at Suq Mukti on Monday, the traders urged the authorities to intervene.
Marima Aden, a trader at Suq Mukti, said the animals have not only caused them great losses but also untold suffering.
“These animals keep increasing every day. We are unable to sell our merchandise since they are everywhere,” she said.
Mariam Mohamed, another trader, asked why the county was not in a hurry to solve the problem, which she said has been going on for far too long.
“We always ask ourselves who will come to our rescue. The owners never bother to find out how and where their animals graze,” she said.
Mohamed Abdi, a taxi driver, said the only solution is for the county askaris to round-up the animals and take them to the station, where the owners will be asked to pay fines for their animals to be released.
While some residents blame the prevailing drought for the hundreds of livestock roaming the streets, others accuse the owners of negligence.
“Let nobody tell you that these animals are roaming the town due to drought. Why is it that when it rains and there is vegetation for livestock to feed on, you will still find the animals roaming the streets? This is a classic case of negligence,” a trader said.
Speaking to the press separately, Kenya's Livestock Marketing Council chairman Dubat Amey urged the county to pass by-laws to control livestock in the town.
“There used to be municipal by-laws, but they are not valid now. They have since been repealed. We seriously need by-laws that will cover the market and the town to ensure cleanliness,” he said.
“The owners cannot use the market, schools and roads to graze their animals. What they are doing is unfortunate.”