Residents in Laikipia North Sub-county will soon start using the newly constructed Sh.11 million Kimanjo livestock sales yard.
The spacious modern Auction market which sits in a seven-acre piece of land has a capacity to hold over 1,000 herds of cattle, camel, sheep and goats.
The project which is funded by Government of Sweden through partnership with World Vision Kenya, Northern Rangelands Trust, and Stockholm Environment Institute in collaboration with Laikipia County Government, Musul community and Laikipia Livestock Marketing Cooperative Society Limited is expected to serve livestock traders from Doldol, Samburu, Isiolo and other catchment areas in the region.
The project kick started in 2018 after the Musul community donated the land to pave way for the construction.
Addressing the media after the handing over of the market to the community, World Vision Project Manager, Simon Mbuki, said that their aim was to improve livelihoods among communities.
“Our key areas were market strengthening and ensuring people have money due to value addition. We expect pressure to be reduced in the environment since the community will have adapted to this new change,” Mbuki said.
“We also intended to enhance resilience to communities due to climate change, for instance the issues of water and conflict due to lack of pasture,’’ Mbuki added.
Laikipia Deputy Governor, John Mwaniki, speaking at the same event said the government is committed to ensuring pastoralists do not move from one place to another in search of pasture and water.
“We are very serious about the economy of pastoralist communities. We want to change how things are done in bid to reduce the issue of conflict. We want to entrench issues of feedlot since it’s the modern way of livestock farming. Government will do everything possible to achieve that as a way of economic empowerment,” Mwaniki promised.
Deputy Governor said the County is going to introduce modern livestock weighing machines that sellers will use to get the exact weight of the animals before they are sold as a measure to avoid incurring losses.
Mwaniki further noted, the County Administration will install a WIFI network at the facility which will enable farmers to sell their livestock online.
“Farmers will no longer sell their livestock based on eye estimates. We want to maximize use of online platforms where farmers can post and sell to willing buyers at ease,” Mwaniki revealed, adding that they are on a mission to tag all livestock in Laikipia in bid to stop people selling stolen animals and increase credibility of the new Kimanjo Livestock Market.
Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) Chairperson, Joseph Kaparo, speaking to the media at the same event said that they are happy as a community, since the modern market will improve the economic status of the region.
“Before we were selling our livestock in a very unfriendly place. We are glad and thank World Vision for this market. It is a live changer project because it will serve people from our neighbouring counties of Isiolo, Samburu and Nyeri. We will manage it well,” cheerful Kaparo said, adding the market will boost security since it is enclosed with a fence and there will be close monitoring in ensuring stolen livestock are not sneaked in.
The Livestock Marketing Association will co-manage the Kimanjo market with the area County Government.
By Muturi Mwangi