Over 400 residents of Tiaty Sub County in Baringo have benefited from a Sh10 million European Union (EU) Project that seeks to improve livelihoods.
Speaking during handing over ceremony of assorted equipment and materials to 29 groups at AIC Chemolingot grounds, Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) Managing director Sammy Naporos whose organization is implementing the project in collaboration with Kenya National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) said they prioritized the selected groups, which include reformed cattle rustlers, circumcisers and drug abusers in order to offer them an alternative lifeline.
Naporos who oversaw the distribution of the materials which include motor bikes, bee hives, beekeeping devices and equipment for outdoor events noted that the beneficiaries were taken through a seven-month training on basic skills and entrepreneurship development to ensure growth of their respective groups.
“We shall be monitoring the progress of these groups and offer technical support to ensure that their businesses are sustainably managed,” he said.
The managing director who was flanked by board chair Mark Chesergon urged residents to take advantage of such developments in the community and shun retrogressive practices like cattle rustling and banditry, which has taken the region back for years.
NCTC Head of Research and Analysis, Kenneth Rono in his remarks said that the registered groups participated in training on countering violent extremism to help in identifying early warning signs of radicalization in the community.
Rono representing NCTC director Dr. Rosalind Nyawira noted that training seeks to build resilience amongst the group members, against ethnic conflicts especially in an area which for a very long time has been affected by insecurity challenges.
Tiaty MP William Kamket who attended the launch lauded the project saying it will go a long way in transforming the lives of residents.
Kamket urged other development partners to support the region he noted has been left out in development for a very long time.
He said that incidences of cattle rustling will be a thing of the past, if focus is given to the area with the aim of supporting residents move from over dependence on livestock keeping and shift to other viable sources of livelihoods.
The sentiments were shared by Baringo County CEC for Education Rev. Simon Kiuta who said the only solution to the problem of insecurity in Tiaty is spiritual and mental mindset transformation.
Kiuta noted that insecurity challenge coupled with high illiteracy levels in the vast Tiaty Constituency has been occasioned by the fact that residents feel they have been distanced by both levels of governments and cannot move in unison with other developed regions.
By Benson Kelio and Joshua Kibet