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New Roads to Improve Security in Troubled North Rift

Roads Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kipchumba Murkomen has said the government has completed the construction of three new roads in the North Rift aimed at taming runaway insecurity in the area.

Speaking during the 9th Annual Kimalel Goat and Cultural Festival in Marigat Sub-County on Thursday presided over by President William Ruto, Murkomen revealed that his ministry has liaising with development partners who will support in the construction of roads that will connect Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Laikipia, Samburu Turkana, and West Pokot Counties.

The CS said Loruk-Tangulbei-Amaya- up to Suguta Valley, Loruk-Kapedo-Lokichar, and Barwesa-Kolowa-Tot roads if constructed will link many residents who feel disconnected from the rest of Kenyans.

“We shall have made a very big difference if the three roads are completed because warring communities shall leave fighting amongst each other and live harmoniously,” said Murkomen.

The Roads CS said his Ministry has injected Sh 24 billion into ongoing roads in Baringo which have stalled due to the ineffectiveness of contractors and delayed funds.

He stated that the contractor will resume work on the Karandi-Mochongoi-Marigat road in January to complete the remaining 40 kilometers.

“Kipsaraman-Kinyach-Arror-Kapsowar road’s contractor was fired and contract advertised afresh, we have got a new contractor who will come on-site by February next year to continue the work,” he said.

Murkomen revealed that the Mogotio-Lake Baringo-Kamukunji road will also resume shortly after construction works stopped due to delayed funds.

Governor Benjamin Cheboi in his remarks lauded the government for its efforts in constructing the key roads which he said apart from opening up the area will also boost trade.

Cheboi said that a section of residents in the past have borne the brunt from armed but said he is optimistic that with mitigation measures put in place by both levels of government, the region will enjoy peace.

Cheboi’s sentiments were echoed by his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Wesley Rotich who said that the few completed cross border roads have already brought down insecurity incidents within the affected counties.

“The secret of taming the vice is to open up the affected areas and we shall not have these criminals walking during the day while armed,” the governor said.

Baringo senator William Cheptumo noted that the security situation has improved for the past one year due to deployment of more security personnel and National Police Reservist (NPR) who have been stationed in every corner of the county to safeguard the lives and properties of residents.

He added that all leaders in Baringo deliberately took the initiative to lead in preaching peace among warring communities since it is not only the mandate of the parliamentarians from the three affected sub counties.

Baringo North Member of Parliament Joseph Makilap, his Tiaty counterpart William Kamket and Charles Kamuren (Baringo South) urged Murkomen to continue to build more roads to connect sub counties and subsequently traversing other counties in order to stem out banditry and cattle rustling within the North Rift region.

Kamket who vowed to lead other Baringo leaders in preaching peace noted that the county is a largely peaceful area compared to several years ago.

During the auction where President Ruto jointly purchased with his deputy Rigathi Gachagua some 1,000 goats worth Sh 15 million, Sh 41 million was raised in the sale of 3,000 goats whose proceeds will go directly to the benefiting farmers from the seven sub-counties of Baringo.

By Benson Kelio and Christopher Kiprop

 

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