The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), Kenya Meat Commission and the leadership of Turkana County met on Monday to discuss the revival of the Lomidat Slaughterhouse situated in Lokichoggio Sub- County.
The meeting was led by the Managing Commissioner for Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) Brig James Githaga.
The meeting was a follow-up to the recommendation from the Peace Caravan that took place up to Namanga, Kajiado County that was presided over by the Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, whose objective was improving the lives of communities around Lomidat, streamline the livestock value chain to boost the local economy and promote peaceful coexistence within and across the border.
Brig Githaga stated that the meeting discussed ways to jointly revive Lomidat, and to explore ways to expedite the market, which is under the mandate of KMC.
He further said that revival of the Lomidat facility is part of peace-building between Kenya and neighbouring countries as well as improving livelihoods of the people who are largely pastoralists.
Of significance, Brig Githaga said was the need to develop a memorandum of understanding to formalise the partnership.
The delegation led by Brigadier Githaga, had in the morning paid a courtesy call on officers from the Department of Livestock Development to brief them on their mission to Lomidat.
Turkana Deputy Governor (DG), Dr John Erus said, “livestock value chain is one of the main livelihood options of our people and any opportunity that enhances that area is critical.”
He appreciated the role of the National Government through the Ministry of Defence in putting up infrastructure to ensure the safety of the people.
Dr. Erus emphasised that the county’s agenda on collaboration and partnerships will only be achieved and have impactful benefits if done through strategic partnerships.
The deputy governor also revealed that the recent proposal to the European Union (EU) to declare Turkana disease-free for animals, he said, would help local products reach the EU market.
The County Executive Committee member for Agriculture, Livestock Development and Fisheries, David Erukudi reiterated the County’s commitment to collaborate with KDF and other stakeholders in resuscitating the facility.
He regretted that cattle-related conflicts had grounded Lokichoggio but expressed optimism that the revival of the facility will give the area a socio-economic face-lift.
The meeting was attended by county government, KMC, and KDF officials.
After the meeting, the team traveled to Lokichoggio to assess the stalled Lomidat factory to gather information on how best the facility can be revived and operationalized in the near future.
By Peter Gitonga