Communal Grazing Resumes at Kobebe Dam

2216 Views Moroto, Uganda

In short
The dam, the biggest in the area hosts pastoralists from Kotido, Matheniko and Turkana in Kenya. It has a total storage of 2.3 billion litres of water and can serve more than five million animals a day.

The pastoral communities of Matheniko, Jie and their Turkana neighbours have resumed communal grazing at Kobebe Dam.

The dam, the biggest in the area hosts pastoralists from Kotido, Matheniko and Turkana in Kenya.  It has a total storage of 2.3 billion litres of water and can serve more than five million animals a day.

However, communal grazing at the dam had been restricted following renewed cattle theft that intensified during the month of October.  The restriction followed numerous complaints from the pastoralists over the loss of their animals.

As a result, the Jie in Kotido were forced to graze to the West, Matheniko Southward as Turkana pastoralists moved backwards in order to avoid clashes between the various ethnic groups.

However, normal grazing has resumed. Brig. Richard Otto, the 3rd Division Commander says all the pastoral communities are back and are grazing normally at Kobebe Dam. He notes security was stepped up where most of the wrong elements were isolated with the support of local leaders.
 
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But Jackson Angella, an elder in Rupa Sub County where Kobebe Dam is located fears that cattle theft might continue if stolen animals are not recovered and handed over to the rightful owners.

"Unless the army does intensive recoveries, these thefts might continue. I hear some of our stolen animals have already been sold and that the thieves have now opened businesses with the money. Well, animals need water but we also need those animals safe" Angella said.