The Irrigation Principal Secretary (PS), Prof. Fred Segor has cited perennial cattle rustling and banditry as the biggest impediments to full realization of sustainable development in Baringo County.
Speaking on Monday during a county dissemination forum on Third Medium Plan (MTP III) 2018-2022 at Kenya School of Government (KSG) Baringo, Prof. Segor noted that the vices, apart from tainting the image of the vast county, cattle rustling had in some instances scared investors from setting foot in the region with huge natural resources like minerals and oil.
“People fear to come to Baringo because they think it is one of the most unsafe places in our country yet it is just a small section of our region where insecurity is still a challenge,” he noted.
Prof. Segor regretted that during cattle rustling and banditry incidences which have been derailing development in Baringo and other counties in North Rift since the advent of devolution in 2013, both civilians and security personnel have become vulnerable hence there was need for more approaches of handling the common enemy responsible for slow economic development in the region.
“I want to urge local residents to start sharing with security agents the best possible ways to make our region a much safer place,” said the PS.
At the same time, he encouraged the locals to continue living as brothers and sisters so that the county could enjoy a relative peace.
The County Commissioner (CC), Henry Wafula who spoke during the event urged the locals to be at the forefront in championing for peaceful coexistence by saying security starts with them hence they should not over rely on people from outside the county to bring peace for them.
Wafula lauded the residents for cooperating over security matters and asked them to continue volunteering vital information to security apparatus that will lead to arrest of those perpetrating cattle rustling and banditry activities.
The County Executive Committee (CEC) member for Finance, Dr. David Sergon lauded the national government for establishing security roads in the area saying it would assist in stemming the vice.
Dr. Sergon urged leaders from both national and county governments to speak in one voice particularly on security matters in order to avoid recurrent intercommunity conflicts mostly emanating from banditry and cattle rustling.
The county finance boss noted that security roads have transformed the area and the locals have now embarked on other productive activities other than the retrogressive cattle rustling practice.
On Thursday last week, heavily armed bandits suspected to be from Tiaty constituency attacked Kapindasum in Arabal location of Marigat Sub County, killing three school children and two herders before stealing 43 livestock which were later recovered after fierce gun battle between the bandits and National police reservists.
By Benson Kelio/Joshua Kibet