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Over 6,000 Turkana pastoralists move back to Kenya

Enjoying the back of the animal_ Karimojong boy sit on top of the cow while taking them to graze in Moroto district (PHOTO/OPOLOT)

KOTIDO/KAABONG – Over 6,000 Kenyan pastoralists have on Tuesday, August 27, moved back to Kenya following the return of the rainy season that has enabled the grass to grow afresh.

The 6,000 Turkana herdsmen are part of 70,000 Turkana nomadic population which had crossed into Uganda along with 127,000 of their livestock in search of pasture and water last year during the drought.

The Resident District Commissioner Kotido district, Peter Logiro said the Turkana pastoralists have shifted to the Kenya-Uganda border.

“They are moving towards their country especially in the green belt areas but others are still within Uganda,” he said.

Mr. Augustine Modo the Deputy Resident District Commissioner Kaabong district speaking to PML Daily this afternoon also confirmed that the Turkana pastoralists that have been grazing in  Kaabong district have moved kilometers away from Kaabong to the Kenya side.

“They always come to Karamoja when its draught looking for water and pasture for their animals but after when they see rains and grass, they move back to their country,” he said.

The Turkana are Kenya’s second-largest pastoral group and keep crossing into Uganda in search of water and pasture.

Karamoja sub-region currently hosts to about 70,000 Turkana pastoralists who entered the country with more than 100,000 livestock following the persistent drought in northeast  Kenya.

They are currently grazing in the areas of Kobebe in Moroto, Loyoro, Kamion and Kalapata in Kaabong District.

Mr. John Byabagambi the minister for Karamoja affairs said Uganda will continue tolerate any foreign pastoralists as long as they don’t bring in guns.

“Uganda will receive any person stranded but will not entertain the stranded people who are armed,” he said.

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