Simon Gila

Kenya Opuntia stricta

Simon is a pastoralist in the Laikipia District of Kenya. He grazes goats, sheep and cattle on land surrounding his village. But this is being overrun with Opuntia stricta.

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The problem

Simon has found that the numbers of animals he and his villagers own are diminishing and he and his fellow villagers are suffering. They have tried to remove Opuntia by hand or burn it but nothing seems to work.

He and his neighbours depend on the livestock for their livelihoods but it is becoming increasingly hard as the land that they graze on is disappearing.


  • Loss of livestock
  • Reduced grazing land
Simon Gila Simon Gila

Affected by:

Opuntia Preferred Scientific Name: Opuntia stricta
Opuntia Cactus Opuntia Cactus

Opuntia (Opuntia stricta) was introduced to Africa and Australia as an ornamental plant. It has since spread throughout these continents and many more countries worldwide. The horticultural trade has been blamed for the spread as it is often imported for gardens and displays.


Further reading

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