Kajiado locals welcome ban on cross-border movement

Monday, May 18th, 2020 00:00 |
Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku.

Residents of Namanga, Kajiado county, have lauded the government’s decision to close the border with Tanzania to curb imported cases of Covid-19.

Residents who have persistently raised the red flag over continued cross-border movement along the porous border are optimistic imported infections will decline. 

“We are happy our cry has been heard and free movement along this border banned. Free cross-border movement exposed us to Covid-19 infections. We are happy,” said  Daniel Pariken, a Nyumba Kumi chairman. 

Before President Uhuru Kenyatta closed the border, restricting movement to cargo trucks only, citizens from both countries have been crossing the border to conduct business as usual. 

Access markets

While some Kenyans protested the cross-border movement, arguing that their neighbours are not observing any safety precautions, some citizens have continued to cross to the Tanzanian side for drinking sprees and attending churches thus increasing the risk of infection

Herders have also been a major hindrance in the halting of cross-border movement. 

The county government has been forced to close all cattle markets at the border points and Ilbisil which is a huge market for Tanzanian livestock.

The closure came after it emerged that some people in the area were facilitating Tanzanians to bring their livestock into the country using panya routes.

Governor Joseph Lenku has told off herders who want the markets re-opened, saying this will compromise health measures put in place since herders from the neighbouring country will find ways to use illegal routes to access the markets.

Further, polygamous men who have homes in the neighbouring country as well as Namanga area have also resisted the move to halt cross-border movement. 

“It has been hard to restrict the men from crossing the border but we are now happy that it is a directive,” said Abdi Hussein, a resident.

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