Residents of Butere in Kakamega County, have decried the escalating cases of cattle theft in the area.
They say they shifted to livestock keeping following the dwindling performance of the sugar industry.
“I converted my two-acre piece of land from sugarcane farming to nappier grass to feed my cows and make money. But the rising theft of livestock is threatening us,” said Mr James Ouma from Imanga village.
LOST FOUR COWS
The most affected areas are Lunza, Eshihaka, Shiatsala, Imanga and Shikunga villages.
Mr Francis Mulama, another cattle farmer from Imanga village says he lost four cows on Tuesday.
Mr Francis Andala who lost his five cows on Wednesday says the situation is alarming. He says he is now unable to keep his children in school and feed his family.
He told Nation that the rampant cattle theft has forced many farmers to watch over the animals at night.
He called on the police and other security agencies to intensity patrols in the region and arrest the cattle thieves.
Records at the Butere Police Station indicate that more than 22 heads of cattle have been recovered in the last three days.
Acting Sub-County Police Commander Julius Achoka said they recovered the cows on diverse dates between September 23 and 25.
“Through night patrols, we met thieves on September 23 with five cattle. They escaped leaving the cattle behind. On September 24 we got information from the public about cattle theft in Imanga village and rushed to their rescue. We recovered four cows,” said Mr Achoka.
The police also recovered a bull that was stolen from Shikunga village at Yala market where it was taken for sale.
The police, on September 25 recovered 13 cows from a home in Shikunga village. Mr Achoka said that nine of the animals were given back to the owners.
“We are liaising with the community and security committees to intensify surveillance to ensure that the suspects are arrested and prosecuted,” he told Nation.
He however, said that most of the cases are either not reported, or are reported late to the police. The police however, suspect that some locals were colluding with the cattle thieves.