A pastoralist in Lamu is demanding justice after a speeding miraa vehicle ran over his herd of sheep, killing 165 of them on the spot and leaving others with serious injuries.
Barisa Bapesa, a herder from Bandi Village in Danisa on the border of Lamu and Tana River counties lost almost the entire herd of sheep after the speeding miraa vehicle from Meru headed to Lamu County rammed into the animals at around 5 am between Gamba and Witu along the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road on Friday.
Mr Bapesa toldOpera News Hub on Friday that his sheep were crossing from one side of the road while being taken out for grazing before the speeding miraa pickup ran over them, killing the 165 instantly.
Mr Bapesa was left with only 11 sheep, most of which were also injured during the incident.
The driver of the miraa pickup sped off after the accident.
Mr Barisa is calling on the police to help track the driver of the miraa vehicle.
“I am yet to come to terms with this huge and unexpected loss. It’s painful to lose 165 animals at ago. I have remained with only 11 sheep out of which six have severe injuries. The driver fled. I couldn’t even record the number plate since he was at high speed. He was from Meru headed to Lamu. I call on police to help me track the driver and get justice,” said Mr Bapesa.
He added, "The animals cross this section of the road daily. The section is a wildlife and livestock corridor and there are signs to that effect. The driver of the miraa vehicle just ignored the road signs and ran over my animals."
Danisa area Chief Waticho Lango said Barisa’s loss has occurred when pastoralists in the region are already going through tough times due to the ravaging drought.
Mr Lango urged the government and well-wishers to intervene and help Mr Barissa.
“It’s unfortunate. Barisa depends on the sheep for his livelihood. He has children in school. I appeal to well-wishers outside there to come out and help,” said Mr Lango.
Protesting pastoralists gathered around the area of the accident demanding justice for the sheep owner.
“We want a double compensation for each sheep killed. Motorists ought to know that Minjila, Gamba, and Witu are pastoralist zones. It’s common for livestock to crossroads all over. Let this herder be compensated,” said Jelle Omar.
Lamu County Commissioner, Irungu Macharia confirmed the incident, adding that investigation had already been launched.
“I have received the information this morning and we are pursuing the miraa driver,” said Mr Macharia.
He cautioned motorists, particularly miraa vehicle drivers against reckless driving on the roads.
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