Unfortunate price of Kapedo`s journey to peace

Security officers mingle with residents to watch the peace held at Loruk in Baringo North Sub-county in 2018. 5 people killed in fresh Kapedo attacks. PHOTO/Courtesy.

Tackling insecurity in Tiaty SubCountywas a challenge during an operation launched by InteriorCS Fred Matiang’i following the killing of a Deputy Operations Commander of the General Service Unit (GSU) officer in January.

It is alleged that the bandits ambushed the officer’s vehicle at Ameyan bridge.

Community members need to be assisted with a lasting solution.

Many people have lost their lives and loved ones will need to be supported in getting back to their feet.

When this story was being pursued, families that fled uphill were surviving on drip water donated to them to keep the kids hydrated.

Cattles were killed and thecarcass lay in the open in vast land, polluting the air.

Schools and hospitals remained closed for as long as the operation went on.

Interviewees said that as much as fellow Kenyans support any efforts to ensure the insecurity in Kapedo is dealt with, there is need to have a solution towards the protection of women and children.

Many Kenyans listened and watched from the media the situation of the operation but all they got is what they were told by the head of security, but what the people on the ground are going through is not clear.

According to our source that will remain anonymous, she lost a friend after helping him undergo a recovery program in a rehabilitation center.

She called for any stakeholder’s humanitarian Organization to chip in to help the localsovercome the challenges the Pokot communities are currently under.

Prior to the operation, the area always had her share of challenges.

This has contributed to the different ways of living, a factor being that they are deeply rooted in culture and are practicing even the unlawful cultures of cattle rustling, female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriages.

According to a research done by Tiaty Youth Development Association, 18% of the residents are literate and 82% practice cultural practices like FGM, contributing to school dropouts, early marriages and the continuous birth of vulnerable children.

Lack of education has contributed to the existence of dysfunctional families, selling illicit brew for a living.

The study focused on Silale ward where major challenges include lack of schools, Health facilities and Churches.

There is however some of the solutions that can help mitigate the security issues by ensuring the area is upgraded thus improving the living standards of the people around.

Some solutions are inCapacity building, Cash transfer Programs, Food Donations, Education, and Installations of Boreholes in a manner that provides space for human consumption and animal consumption.

Others are equipping and building more Health facilities and strengthen the Universal Health care, give the illicit brewers an alternative other than selling the brew they get supported to start small businesses and an alternative livelihood, nutrition trainings, wellness and mental health.

There is also the need to empower Community leaders, Opinion leaders and Chiefs.

According to the project manager, Community Volunteer towards Recovery programs, Kolem Rutto, there is need to keep the youth busy and keep them from drowning in addictions and depression.

His request is to be equipped with sports materials to engage the youth, he even started a recreational activity, and organized a volleyball tournament which he wishes could be supported.

“If I can get few of these items, in a perspective of this youth they have a lot going on in their minds they will not forget what happened, but it is good we bring out these feelings in a positive way rather than living them because they will eventually grow wild and strong in their “demon’s”.

Deep inside there soul’s some end up rigid, some harbor suicidal thoughts, some even dropout of school,” says Kolem Rutto

Ruto is a reformed alcoholic and drug addict and is three years free, clean from substance use Disorders.

Kolem easily identifies the reasons why he needs to be supported to save the lives of those going through what he went through before being helped.

Also, there is need of a solid support system for the girl child to never to give up. He can be reached through ruttokolem@gmail.com or tiatyyouthdevelopment@gmail.com.

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Janet Kiriswo is A Multi-lingual certified professional Journalist (English, Swahili and Native Kalenjin). Holder of a Bachelor`s degree in PR & Communication skills from Moi University, A Diploma in Mass Communication from The Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, (KIMC), with over 15 years active experience in the media industry. She thrives in covering stories matters that touches on Business, Health, community, Culture and Traditional issues and progress, Politics, Interviews and leaderships among others. She poses other skills in Public Relationship, Communication consultant, Radio presentation, broadcasting, visual feature stories, video/voice recording and editing among others. She strongly believes in changing the world through Communication.

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