WILL CATTLE RUSTLERS BECOME CARPENTERS?

Insecure Tiaty to get 'game changer' TVET

Already young rustlers and bandits have found construction jobs, maybe they'll trade weapons for tools and livelihood

In Summary

• Stalled since 2015 due to violence, to open in November  

• Will cattle rustlers become carpenters and plumbers?

Construction of North Rift Technical Training College in Tiaty, stalled by bandit attacks
COMPLETE BY NOVEMBER? Construction of North Rift Technical Training College in Tiaty, stalled by bandit attacks
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

Baringo's Baringo's Tiaty subcounty, which has been grappling with bandit attacks for many years, is getting its technical college.

The area is notorious as the home of brazen Pokot bandits and cattle rustlers who kept killing and stealing livestock from neighbouring pastoral communities.

“Upon completion, the youths shall get access to technical skills such as plumbing, carpentry, masonry, mechanical engineering.

 

"Then insecurity will be a thing of he past,"  Tiaty MP William Kamket said during a site visit on Wednesday.

The Sh300 million North Rift Technical Training College in  Chemoling’ot town, has stalled since 2015 owing to violence.

Kamket expressed regret that more than 90 per cent of the skilled labour on projects in his constituency was sourced from outside counties. 

He praised the contractor, Pyramid Construction Company, for carrying on despite problems and sticking to timelines.

The mid-level college is more than 70 per cent complete.

It is to open by November, with the first batch of students projected to hit 600 to 1,000.

“Sanity is back now going on two years and there's no reason to keep stalling the anxiously awaited facility,” Kamket said.

 

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to open the institution around November or December.

Kamket said the institution is a game changer and will attract investors to purchase land and develop the area. 

Contractor  Ahmed Ibrahim said the project has stalled since it started in 2014 due to rampant cases of insecurity.

“I remember being forced to evacuate my engineers using a helicopter to Nairobi when armed bandits ambushed a GSU lorry. They killed  21 police officers headed to Kapedo in November 2014,” Ibrahim said.

He also blamed a shortage of skilled labour for the slow pace of construction. 

“We had to source from outside and due to harsh conditions and insecurity most foreigners left," the contractor said.

It was hard to transport materials as roadblocks might last a week.

Apart from insecurity, drought, famine and illiteracy also hurt development. 

Power outages have also delayed construction.

Resident Francis Lokobwo said the project has changed many lives especially the youths who used to be cattle rustlers have now gotten an alternative source of livelihood offering casual labour.

“Also, the women supply food and fruits to the site workers," Lokobwa said.

He also said with the sprouting up of the institution, the price of land in the area has doubled from Sh40,000 to Sh80,000 per acre.  

Furthermore, he said a borehole sunk by the contractor has become a source of hope for both residents and schools within Chemolingot. 

"More than 1,000 pupils from various neighbouring primary schools throng to fetch drinking water from the borehole," he said. 

(Edited by R.Wamochie)