Elgeyo Marakwet County Commissioner (CC) John Korir has called on politicians in the county to keep off the fight against illegal brews for it to succeed.
The CC said the county was among those leading in alcohol consumption among the 14 counties in the former Rift Valley Province, saying yesterday alone, security personnel netted over 3,200 litres of chang’aa with 25 people being arrested.
Speaking after reading the president’s speech during celebrations to mark Madaraka Day at Fluorspar in Keiyo South Sub County, the CC warned that stern legal actions will be taken against anybody caught engaging in illegal brewing as a deterrent against the vice.
The administrator therefore called for cooperation from residents by reporting brewers to the police and called on politicians not to intervene on behalf of any of the brewers once they are apprehended.
In his speech, the governor, Wisley Rotich, called on farmers to embrace a cash crop that does well in their respective areas in a bid to fight poverty, saying 1,800 farmers in the Kerio Valley had been contracted by the Kenya Breweries to provide sorghum to the company.
In the speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Prof. Grace Cheserek, the governor said 10,000 kg of sorghum seeds had already been distributed and would be planted on 3,000 acres.
He added that a further 484 acres have been put under pyrethrum, with 1,200 farmers having registered for contract farming, with some already having sold over 790 kg, with each kilogram fetching Sh275.
“The farmers on contract receive their pay direct from the company through their mobile phones, thus eliminating brokers,” the governor said.
He called on livestock farmers to redouble their efforts, saying while the county has 18 milk coolers with a capacity of 92,000 litres daily,farmers only produce 17,250 litres.
The governor said a total of 67 cooperative societies had been audited, and properties, including land and milk ATM machines, that had been illegally possessed by some unscrupulous individuals had been recovered.
He added that the county had streamlined its revenue systems, which have seen an increase in its own revenue from Sh158 million at a similar time last year to Sh166 million this year.
Residents called on the government to revive the construction of Kimwarer Dam to provide water both for irrigation and domestic use in the arid area.
By Alice Wanjiru