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Why cactus is a thorn in the flesh of Laikipia villagers - 10 months ago, 14 June 00:08

Boniface Thuku M ...

In a parched swathe of land in a corner of Laikipia County, the Samburu are caught up in an epic battle with the cactus that is laying waste to thousands of acres of these rangelands.

The plant, which locals say was introduced by the colonial farmers as an ornamental plant, has now colonised much of their land, and has become a major thorn in their flesh.

To them the cactus is a killer. It has brought misery to the Naibunga Community Conservancy in Laikipia North as it also kills their livestock - their source of livelihood. Elephants, too, have not been spared.

ELEPHANT KILLER

In fact, it is the second biggest elephant killer in the north after poaching and it thrives in the dry seasons.

The conservancy's chairman, Mr Masambai Ole Metiaki, said the ruthless plant has claimed huge chunks of land of the pastoralists grazing land.

The community has lost ...
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