West Pokot women in collaboration with National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Red Cross and other civil society organisations took part in a five-kilometre Peace Walk from Kapenguria to Makutano town preaching peace messages ahead of the forthcoming August General Elections.
The peace walk was meant to sensitize local residents on the need to keep the peace before, during and after the August General Election.
The peace walk dubbed ‘Election Bila Noma’ brought together women, Amani Club staff, Chamber of Commerce members, Red Cross, NCIC, County government, women groups and students from Chewoyet High School with an aim of sensitizing residents on the importance of peaceful polls.
Addressing residents at Makutano town in West Pokot County, Assistant County Commissioner Benjamin Makau said the women walked such a long distance because they are good ambassadors of peace and urged everyone to embrace peace for effective coexistence.
“Women have walked such a long distance to proof that they love peace and it is our responsibility as residents to preach peace because we have to live harmoniously together as Kenyans,” ACC Makau noted.
County Assembly Speaker, Catherine Mukenyang, who also took part in the exercise stressed that the most vulnerable group in the event of instability are usually women and children adding that they will front peaceful coexistence before and after the election.
“We champion peace in all of our counties and since we women are the most affected group then we shall make sure that peace prevails in all of our sub-counties,” Mukenyang said.
The Speaker noted that businesses grow and expand very well when there is good co-existence between people and this provides good job opportunities to everyone.
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), West Pokot County Chief Executive Officer, Mr Seth Isokha, said peace is paramount for economic growth and development.
“Crime undermines peaceful co-existence of communities and discourages investors who would have contributed to the general development of the County and country at large,’’ Mr Isokha explained.
Mr Isokha further emphasized the need to have a lasting peace because violence makes people live with fear among themselves and reiterated that insecurity chases away the local investors and potential ones from outside the county and country at large.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), West Pokot County Youth Director, Mr Isaack Moi said insecurity in some parts of West Pokot, especially around Kainuk and Chesogon areas, has deteriorated affecting business around those regions.
“I am requesting residents from counties of West Pokot, Turkana and Elgeyo Marakwet to be peace ambassadors during these times of campaigns, our leaders should also take responsibility of doing peacefully campaigns because it will lead to good co-existence among the residents,” Moi urged.
By Anthony Melly and Robert Kiprop