Ten Questions & Answers about ILRI’s Kapiti Research Station

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In late 2017, several illegal attempts were made to sell parcels of land at Kapiti Research Station, located in Kenya’s Machakos County and belonging to the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The Station conducts long-term research on livestock diseases and related issues of major importance to people in Kenya and throughout the developing world. Groups involved in the fraudulent land grabbing activities trespassed on the Station. Some even attempted to erect illegal structures, which were demolished by the proper authorities. More recently, on 20 October 2018, the Kenya Parliamentary Lands Committee held a hearing about Kapiti Research Station in Mavoko, Machakos County, at which some witnesses provided false testimony about their entitlement to the land and completely mischaracterized the activities and interests of Kapiti and ILRI. To be clear: No land at Kapiti is or ever has been for sale since ILRI acquired it between 1981 and 1987, when the transaction was finalized.  ILRI is confident that the Parliamentary Land Commission and the Kenyan legal system will vindicate ILRI’s ownership rights of Kapiti Research Station and protect the public goods research being conducted there. In the meantime, Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions has opened a criminal investigation of fraud and extortion to ensure that the persons responsible for these illegal acts are brought to justice. We urge the public to respect the DPP’s directive or face the consequences.

This brief Q&A is intended to set the record straight about what ILRI is, what we’re doing at Kapiti, and what makes our title to the land there so secure.


Livestock at the Kapiti ranch in Kenya on 30 Aug 2013 (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

  1. What is the Kapiti Research Station?
  2. What is ILRI? Who funds ILRI’s work and staff?
  3. What is the Kapiti land dispute about?
  4. What proof does ILRI have that it owns Kapiti?
  5. How is Kapiti benefiting Kenyans?
  6. Just who and what is the land grabbing putting at risk?
  7. What is the Kenyan legal system doing in response to these actions?
  8. What is ILRI doing to vindicate its ownership of Kapiti?
  9. Is ILRI in discussions with Machakos County about another Kapiti matter?
  10. Where can I get more information?

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