Northern Kenya Rangelands Trust CEO’s insensitive words ignite calls for removal


The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), an organization committed to promoting peace and conservation in Kenya’s rangelands, finds itself embroiled in a heated controversy.

This is after its CEO, Tom Lalampaa, made derogatory remarks about the Turkana community living in Isiolo.
Lalampaa’s comments, described as inflammatory and divisive, have sparked outrage and calls for his immediate removal from the CEO position.
The incident unfolded two weeks ago when Lalampaa allegedly wrote on a WhatsApp group referring the Turkana people as “Monkeys,” a derogatory term that has incited anger and resentment among the affected community.
The Turkana community, as well as neighboring Samburu communities, view the comments as not only derogatory but also fueling existing tensions and undermining the trust necessary for collaborative conservation efforts.
Speaking on behalf of the Turkana community, community leader Peter Ekalale expressed his deep disappointment in Lalampaa’s offensive language, emphasizing the potential consequences such comments can have on inter-community relations.
“We condemn such derogatory remarks in the strongest terms. Our community has always valued peaceful coexistence and harmony with our neighbors. These remarks have sown seeds of discord and animosity that must be addressed promptly,” Ekalale declared.
In the wake of the incident, numerous community leaders, activists, and concerned individuals have united in demanding immediate action from the NRT.
The collective voice of the affected communities is calling for Tom Lalampaa’s removal from his position as CEO, citing his remarks as a breach of trust, compromising the NRT’s mission of fostering cooperation and understanding between diverse ethnic groups.
Lalampaa has so far refused to issue a public apology, further intensifying the outcry.
The NRT has also said nothing on the issue.
As this situation unfolds, all eyes are on the NRT to address the concerns of the communities affected and take swift action to rectify the damage caused by Lalampaa’s offensive comments.

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