Tom isn’t allowed a Computer in Kamiti, so I am trying to answer your and your lady school-teacher’s questions for him.
The troubles in rural Kenya are land-based. It all dates back to President Kenyatta’s time and the land sold by the white settlers who left Kenya after Independance. Big farms were split up by the government, and sold to an assortment of people from lots of different tribes, but mostly Kikuyu. Since then, there has been an enormous population explosion all over Kenya but fertile land has not increased. Therefore land-tenure is a source of bitterness and of rampant tribalism encouraged by election fever. Presidents Moi and Kibaki did nothing about it, and the whole business has boiled over after 40-odd years.
The lack of employment for young people contributes to the crisis. They have discovered that if you have no job, rioting is more fun than football. Everybody can join in, and you don’t need expensive sports clothes – you gamble with life and limb, but there is lots of noise and excitement and running about. They have nothing but their lives to lose.
We have been relativley peaceful here in Elmenteita. We have lost approx. 3,000 acres of grazing and bush to arsonists in a series of tiresome fires along our boundaries, been over-run by Maasai cattle trespassiang from the high-country wheatlands (we have 700 impounded today but will have to fine their owners instead of feeding them to the refugees) and have had the usual poachers-for-profit killing impala and warthog for the bush-meat trade along the Transafrican Highway. Aided by the local transporters who can get fuel, we are sending milk and firewood to the refugees camped at Nakuru Showground. Locally and amongst our employees there is a weary feeling, irrespective of political or tribal loyalties, of “ why don’t the politicians settle down and run the country peacefully? It is only five years till the next election!”
To answer your ecological questions, the Cholmondeley family, Hugh, myself, Tom and his two little boys, are very deeply involved in saving our local environmemt. Working on the same principal as “charity begins at home”, we are trying to set a good example. We have turned our ranch into a conservancy, are growing indiginous Acacia forests, trying to preserve the only nesting ground of the Great White Pelican in East Africa, breeding semi-endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe for thr Kenya Wildlife Services, and the indigenous Boran cattle that we have been breeding for the last 100 years, along with a great deal of assorted Plains Game. We are trying to show that it is possible, with careful management, to do this in a semi-arid area on 4 inches of volcanic soil over lava rock, and very little water for us, our neighbouts, and all the game. It might interest you to look at our website, >www.soysambuconservancy.org<.
I hope this has anwered some of your questions, and will make sense to you. I have sent all his latest news to Team Tom website.
God Bless you both, and please pray for Kenya as well as Tom .