Religious leaders in Samburu have raised concerns over growing insecurity.
Under the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) Samburu Coordinating Committee, they said sporadic bandit attacks in several parts of Samburu should be addressed.
They said locals are living in fear of attacks and counter-attacks, as well as violent murders of innocent people.
They want security agencies to take decisive action against the killers and their supporters so as to restore calm in the region, adding that mere rhetoric from government officials is not enough to reassure locals.
“This situation is a ticking time bomb because of widespread violence in the entire Samburu. If it is not addressed with urgency in a consultative and comprehensive manner, we are going to lose many innocent lives in the region," said NCCK Samburu chairperson David Lebarleyia, urging the government to take punitive action against politicians who incite violence.
He also asked the government to partner with religious institutions and initiate dialogue between ethnic communities on how to end the cycle of violence.
Scores of people have been killed or maimed despite peace meetings that have been held in recent months in the region.
“We strongly urge all Samburu pastoralists to reject any politician who engages in foul language or violence,” Mr Lebarleyia.
Scaring away investors
Last week, the business community also decried the recent wave of killings and violent crimes in Samburu, saying the situation was scaring away investors.
Samburu County Investors Forum chairman Joe Mithamo said more than five business people had been killed by bandits.
"We have witnessed bandit attacks and five of our members have died in a span of one week. This is a worrying trend and may keep away investors. Businessmen are not guaranteed security. It is difficult," he said.
He observed that frequent bandit attacks had undermined business activities in Suguta Mar Mar, Poro, Maralal, Baragoi and Wamba.
Samburu is facing an unprecedented security crisis, with crimes ranging from burglary and deadly cattle raids to highway banditry. Almost every corner of the region has been hit by crime.
Bandits continue to terrorise motorists, businessmen and herders.
The criminals mainly target trucks ferrying livestock and food items to markets. They also commit break-ins and robberies at gunpoint.
Despite intensified police patrols, illegal guns in the hands of civilians have turned Samburu into a nightmare for travellers.
Decades of sporadic banditry incidents have evolved into a more worrying security threat on stretches of roads in the region.