Yiaku Community – Challenges


  • Insecurity for instance members of the neighboring communities steal cows and goats from members of the Yiaku community.
  • People from other communities moving into Mukogodo forest. Efforts by members of the Yiaku community to evict them have caused unrest in the areas where the Yiaku occupy.
  • High levels of school drop outs. The sand selling initiative that was in place to help to educate the children has faced many challenges in that it is used for individual gain as opposed to benefitting the whole community.
  • Non-recognition as a Kenyan tribe is one of the major issues facing the Yiaku community.
  • Land issues including boundary disputes between the Maasai and Yiaku. Overlapping boundaries between group ranches and government administration locations. Ilmwesi Mukogodo boundary.
  • Documenting the Yiakunte language is also a major issue because the dialect is at the verge of disappearance. There is need for compilation of a Yiakunte dictionary and translation of books like the Bible for preservation of the language.
  • Intergenerational teaching of the Yiakunte dialect and Yiaku Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)
  • Social and economic issues also exist including the fact that the Yiaku do not have access to education facilities and also have issues with accessing sources of livelihood, technology, communication and essential/government services and infrastructure.
  • Poor infrastructure like roads and network coverage in places where the Yiaku people reside also constitute one of the problems facing the Yiaku people.
  • Climate change which has had negative impacts including prolonged periods of drought that have affected availability of land for grazing. There is an apprehension that if the current impacts on climate change continue then the Yiaku rangelands will be destroyed irreparably.
  • Human wildlife conflicts have also affected the Yiaku community especially conflicts with the elephants. Invasion of grazing land by other communities including deforestation, charcoal burning and illegal logging. Human- wildlife conflict. Elephants, in as much as they are nature’s blessing, are a huge problem within the Yiaku community since they cause destruction of property and in worse cases loss of lives. Members of the community have tried to reach out to the Kenya Wildlife Service for help to little or no avail. There is need for spatial planning in order to ensure that there is known space for wildlife use as well as for community use.
  • Some members of the community do not believe that COVID – 19 is real and therefore continue to expose themselves to more risk of contracting the virus. The virus has affected the economy of the Yiaku society as it has worldwide. Costs of living has gone up and access to services down.
  • A lot of young people are also joining the vice of taking drugs e.g. Khat chewing, marijuana/ cigarette smoking and this has also partly contributed to the high dropout rates. The joblessness of the youth has fueled these bad vices and insecurity in the community.