Kano govt moves towards finding lasting solution to herdsmen, farmers’ conflict
Kano State government has expressed deep concern over the encroachment and blockage of cattle stock routes across the state,saying this has often led to crisis involving herdsmen and farmers, leading to severe social, economic and food security challenges.
This was just as the government has expressed resolve to address the issue dispassionately, with a view of finding a sustainable solution.
The chairman, Kano State Stock Routes Demarcation Committee, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulaiman Dan’Isle made the assertion on Saturday, during the maiden meeting of the committee in Kano.
In his words: “It is regrettable that farmers and herdsmen have been engaged in clashes which have caused loss of lives and property. This is as a result of encroachment of the stock routes which serves as local and international passage for the herdsmen to reach water resources, grazing reserves or vaccination points.”
Alh. Dan Isle, who is also the Managing Director, Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA) noted that: “Unfortunately, many of the stock routes across Kano State have encroached, so, one of our major tasks is to identify them and follow due process to ensure that they are retrieved, as a means of mitigating recurrent conflicts.”
According to him, “One of our major priorities now is the setting up of demarcation committees at the local government levels, with representation from the different actors concerned, to avert crisis arising from stock routes usage.”
This was also contained in a statement signed and issued by Project Communication Specialist, Kano State Agro Pastoral Development Project, Alhaji Ameen Yassar who disclosed that there would be leverage on the role of traditional community leaders in dispute resolution as well as public enlightenment, and that the committee would also push for a legal framework to protect the stock routes, for lasting peace.
In his remark, the State Project Coordinator, Kano Agro Pastoral Development Project (KSADP), Alh. Ibrahim Garba Muhammad explained that the project has concluded plans to hire a consultant, to work with the Stock Route Committee, for identification, demarcation and gazettment for all stock routes in the state.
“The conflict mitigation activity is very strategic towards achieving the development objective of the KSADP. You cannot achieve development in agro-pastoralism if there is no peace and stability.”
The committee Secretary, Dr. Garba Saleh said some of the identified reasons for conflict between herdsmen and farmers are destruction of crops, harassment of herdsmen by host community youths, cattle theft and sale of cattle routes by local government authorities.
Others are lack of grazing land and disregard for local traditional authorities.