Arsonists torch a Ksh.9 million worth of sugarcane plantation in Transmara

Arsonists touch a Ksh.9 million worth of sugarcane plantation in Transmara

A 15-acre sugar-cane plantation worth Sh9 million was razed to the ground by unknown arsonists in Mapashe village in Transmara West, Narok County on Thursday night.

Transmara West Sub-county Police Commander Hamisi Ganzala confirmed the incident saying the fire started around 10:20 pm. The owner of the plantation has been identified as Dennis Leparan Kilusu.

This is not the first time cane is torched in the area. In June this year, a 20-acre plantation worth millions of shillings was razed down by arsonists in Enoretet area, along the Nkararo /Enoosaen border.

In late July this year, tension was high in the volatile Nkararo area in Transmara West, after a 17-year-old man was allegedly killed in fresh clashes that occurred in the area.

The boy was allegedly shot on the chest with an arrow during a clash involving the youths from the Siria and Uasin Gishu clans of the Maasai community.

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It all started when a group of young men from one clan, while armed with bows and arrows, attempted to prevent men from the other clan from planting sugarcane in a land that borders the two clans.

The area Deputy County Commissioner, Noor Hassan Noor,  was recently quoted saying, the total of sugar-cane farms  set ablaze in Transmara area in the last six months is in excess of 300 acres,

Regional insecurity

The entire Trans-Mara area has been known for beleaguered incidences of insecurity where cases of homicide and inter-clan and inter-ethnic clashes, have been experienced in the past.

Peace finally returned to Nkararu area, where the two Maasai clans of Siria and Eruasin-gishu fought for over four decades over land boundary after the government constructed a cutline to act as a demarcation between the two clans and issued title deeds to the residents.

Many lives were lost, houses torched on both sides of the clans` boundary in Nkararo as two clans fought. Property worth millions of shillings were destroyed.

The underlying issue in many of these incidences is land (as is the case in Nkararu area in Transmara West).

Land is a very emotive issue in the area as the area has rich fertile soils and rich in natural resources.

The recent incidences of banning down plantation, however, coincides with an outcry by area residents who are blaming the Transmara Sugar Company of frustrating them by demanding that they transport sugarcane to the factory, a task they said, is expensive and difficult for them.

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