POVERTY-BOUND

Lasting solutions needed for insecure North Rift counties

Displaced widows and orphans of victims live in farms which bandits now use as grazing fields

In Summary

• TJRC 2008 report found that the state failed to engage communities in addressing boundary disputes which has led to constant conflicts. 

• The once-booming Turkwell business centre that attracted local and international tourists has been abandoned due to constant attacks. 

A section of over 3,000 residents displaced in Mukutani Division in Baringo South subcounty after suspected armed Pokot bandits burned their houses in August 2014 over pasture and boundary dispute
BANDITRY-PRONE: A section of over 3,000 residents displaced in Mukutani Division in Baringo South subcounty after suspected armed Pokot bandits burned their houses in August 2014 over pasture and boundary dispute
Image: FILE

For more than a decade, residents of North Rift counties have shouldered the pain and heavy loss associated with gang attacks.

After deaths, displacement, loss of properties and infliction of gunshot injuries, the peace-loving people of Turkana South and East have been condemned to undeserved poverty levels. Elected leaders and Kraal elders have championed for peaceful existence with neighbours but it hasn’t been a long-time solution as some armed elements disrupted it barely before it bore fruits.

Most deaths along Turkana and West Pokot border have been caused by gunshots. For Kainuk residents its been tough for widows and orphans of victims who were felled with illegal arms. Some of them who had opted to go to the nearby Koputiro and Lomosingo farms as an alternative are now stranded after the farms became more insecure.

 

Sadly, even the once-booming Turkwell business centre that attracted local and international tourists has been partially abandoned because of reported attacks. With a large chunk of land in Turkana South being projected for more oil production and its arable part suitable for agriculture being under siege by bandits, the government should devise a means of compensating residents who are now wallowing in poverty.

Findings by the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission of Kenya established in 2008 that ‘the state failed to engage communities in addressing boundary disputes among Turkana, Pokot, Borana and Somali clans, which has led to constant conflicts, displacement of thousands, loss of livelihood and undermining of social development,’.

This should trigger an initiative to find a long-lasting solution.

Turkana