Rift Valley Insecurity solution lies in a multi dimensional approach
Insecurity in the North Rift is a riddle whose answer demands a multi-agency approach, a national symposium has been told. This emerged during a forum organized at the Kenya School of Government Baringo Campus with an aim of coming up with strategies for promoting sustainable peace and security for socioeconomic development in the North Rift region.
The symposium drew delegates from a number counties in the region and beyond including Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Narok, Nakuru, West Pokot and Bomet all of whom expressed confidence that the issues raised were critical to find sustainable solutions to the intricate menace of insecurity that has affected economic activities in the area.
Officiating the opening ceremony of the symposium, a Commissioner at the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), Mr. Morris Dzoro, called for inclusive participation in governance and security of the region in particular and in the country in general. He expressed confidence that insecurity in the North Rift, which is also exuberated by ethnic animosity could, be stemmed out if the underlying causes are resolved. Mr. Dzoro said the Commission has prioritized initiatives aimed at reducing discrimination; ethnic, racial, religious and other ties in the country.
“This has gone a long way in raising the bar of accountability in the public service,” he said. The Commissioner revealed that NCIC is working with stakeholders in the education sector to infuse cohesion, integration and peace buildings in the primary and secondary schools curriculum. “A hundred and fifty curriculum developers have been trained and they developed a framework for the inclusion of tenets of cohesion and integration in school curricula,” he explained. He said that county governments should invest more in education because of the positive relationship between high educational attainment, security and development. This is because vulnerability breeds feelings and perceptions of isolation and exclusion and hence hindering national unity cohesion and integration.
Rift Valley Regional Commissioner, Mr. Mongo Chimwanga, said that the national government will work closely with counties to realize sustainable development through peaceful inter-community relations in the North Rift. Mr. Mwongo noted the conflict in the region was exuberated by cattle rustling, ethnic enmity, and political interests.
According to him, the government was working around the clock to safeguard innocent Kenyans from criminals in the area. He reiterated on the need to educate residents on alternative sources of livelihood rather than engaging in cattle rustling, adding that social empowerment and inclusivity in the region could help restore sanity.
“Security agencies have a pivotal role in ending the insecurity menace in the North Rift region. This also calls for multi-stakeholders approach to the problem. We will work with counties in realizing sustainable development in this region.
The North Rift Economic Block (NOREB) has a role to play in realization of peace for socioeconomic development,” he posed. The Kenya School of Government Director General, Dr. Ludeki Chweya, challenged the stakeholders to search for problem driven solutions. He noted that it was important to focus on the root cause of insecurity which continues to affect the region economically. Dr. Chweya expressed confidence that the school has set the pace in unmasking the puzzle of drought and security in the former Northern Frontier District.
He added that the School, in line with its advisory role, would pursue and develop policy briefs from the discussions to aid the government in making robust policies for socioeconomic development in the region. “By the end of this symposium, the School hopes to create strong ties and collaborations with key stakeholders who are passionate research fellows who would freely share their experiences and best practices for prompting peace and security in the North Rift region,” said Dr. Chweya. The Director Academic Affairs, Dr. Leah Munyao, termed the symposium an avenue for security experts, government representatives and other key stakeholders to discuss peace and security building strategies for the North Rift Region.
“I strongly advocate for a problem driven discussion to identify the underlying factors that hinder peace and security at the national, regional or local contexts,” Dr. Munyao said. Baringo Campus Director, Dr. Solomon Letangule, encouraged the School’s faculty members to participate in professional research activities that will provide implementable solutions to a myriad of issues of national importance. “The School is a vehicle of articulating government policies. The quartet role of the School of Training, Research, Consultancy and Advisory, is central in the realization of prosperity in the country and beyond,” Dr. Letangule noted.