Isiolo Woman Rep Rehema Jaldesa has opposed the Northern Rangelands Trust’s conservation efforts in the region claiming that the organisation had an ulterior motive.
The legislator said management of community land by the local conservancies was denying residents right to use the resource and took issues with alleged NRT’s rush to acquire more land before the community land is registered.
The presence of armed rangers, she said, was an impediment to access of community land by the local residents and blamed it for the insecurity in the region saying the firearms were fanning violence.
NRT supports wildlife conservation efforts across 39 community conservancies in 14 counties and besides offering employment opportunities, supports education through provision of bursaries. Conservancies in Isiolo include Nasuulu, Leparua, Biliqo-Bulesa and Nakuprat-Gotu.
A section of Sericho and Cherab residents recently protested alleged NRT’s expansion of conservation efforts to the two wards without adequate consultations.
Ms Jaldesa said while conservancies are mostly established to protect communities land interests, NRT was allegedly advocating for exclusive rights to the land.
“I urge the relevant stakeholders to fast-rack the relevant laws that will manage the community land and ensure its eventually registered,” said Ms Jaldesa.
The MP lamented that NRT was not involving local leadership and residents in its operations but working in isolation.
“Lack of public participation and involvement of Isiolo leadership in its operations and activities shows the contempt they have against our community,” she shared on her Facebook page adding that professionals, youth and elders had earlier demanded that all NRT operations be stopped.
A row between local MPs and Isiolo Governor Mohammed Kuti continues to delay the process to have the community land registered.
Registration of the land will pave way for adjudication and titling exercise allowing development of both residential and commercial plots.