Ali boasts largely of areas that have embraced change, with successful turn-around stories giving him more hope that his efforts are paying off.
He adds that his main challenging task has been to continue the fight to reduce the use of illicit brew that has crippled youth and elders in the region.
“Teamwork and coordination within the leaders and wananchi have made coordination easy,” says Omar Ali, Eldama Ravine Deputy County Commissioner (DCC).
It has left many youths aimlessly staring at a blank future, with most of them contributing to the pressure piled on old parents to sell their land to sustain their upkeep instead of depending on themselves.
Despite the challenges, he says no part of his territory will remain untamed as he has mastered the different approaches to each village.
Commending the chiefs on the daily routine check-ups they do to warn before arresting the brewers, Omar says the coordination between them and the nyumba kumi initiated activities and meetings have contributed to a safe sub-county.
Baringo County has six sub-counties: Baringo South, Eldama Ravine, Mogotio, Baringo Central, Baringo North and Tiaty.
Technically, Tiaty is on the receiving end of insecurity cases, with the rest of the five sub-counties suffering the general insecurity brunt.
This situation affects the goodwill from potential investors, and international researchers, despite the county having received security support to curb banditry.
Eldama Ravine Sub-county, however, recorded one cattle theft incident in Metipso village, in late September 2020, with the culprits being brought to book.
Eldama Ravine sub-county is situated a few miles north of the equator in the northern region of Baringo County and lies only 85 kilometers away from Nakuru town and 105.2 kilometers from Kabarnet town, Baringo County Headquarters.
Eldama Ravine DCC, Omar Ali, continuously rolls out his issue-based barazas on illicit brews, with some areas having recorded success stories.
In his barazas, he has been keen to discuss issues to do with land succession, an ailment that has contributed to disharmony in families upon the patriarch’s demise without a will to settle the rest of the family members.
Ali says most families in the region have sought land succession assistance through his office.
He has since set up a Lands Board to develop policies that guide the land issues with the help of Eldama Ravine Magistrate courts.
“Some of these cases,” he says, “have existed for many years and there are letters from previous chiefs indicating that.”
Ali adds that there has been a long-term effect of the illicit brew culture that has left many addicted to alcohol.
Some would even attend his barazas drunk.
He proposes that there is a dire need to have a public rehabilitation center in Eldama Ravine Sub-county.
That would assist the magistrate in referring alcoholics to serve a term as they recover instead of arresting addicts or giving them community work as punishment and expecting them to change.
During his barazas to fight illicit brews, he brings up solutions from the lands board, shares them with the local citizens, and sheds light on the way forward to old men and folks on ways of ensuring families live in peace even after their parents’ demise.
He advises them to have their wills in place.
The main challenge in the Eldama Ravine sub-county, the second most populated sub-counties in Baringo County after the Tiaty sub-county, is the deep-rooted Kalenjin culture where men dominate the sharing of land.
The land cannot be divided without their guidance.
The other issue is that some of the elderly men do not believe in women’s land inheritance, an obstacle that the 2010 constitution has already addressed, allowing all children to have an equal share of inherited land.
Also, it is taken as a taboo to advise the old folks on land inheritance.
Some get depressed in the fear that they are old and rejected by their own. Most of the children, therefore, avoid mentioning it to them.
“Families practicing polygamy are the most affected by unsettled land disputes.
I have been advising chiefs to investigate whether the patriarch had any other wife or wives before writing a formal letter on succession because some wife(s) go behind their colleagues to acquire such letters,” says Ali.
Admitting that it is hard for them to tamper with the letters they receive, he underscores the need for the chiefs to double-check them.
With the magistrate taking over the mandate to rule on land disputes, The DCC laments the dependence of the youths who pressure their parents to share their land.
Terming it saddening, he urges the youth to focus on finding their own land.
“I am very passionate about the issues to do with the local citizens.
Some even knock on my office; all they ask is financial assistance to buy food. I do not turn down such genuine requests. They touch my heart,” explains Ali.
He applauds the land control board in Eldama Ravine for addressing and reducing land disputes.
He also applauds some youth who have had land transferred to them for using it to benefit themselves, unlike others who use the money for petty and selfish matters, with others presenting fake signed affidavits purporting to represent their parents.
In the wake of the government’s directives on education, Ali says he works hand-in-hand with the education office to deal with education matters and keep all children in the classroom.
Bhang growing is another challenge he says is being dealt with, especially in Poror village.
“Eldama Ravine residents are law-abiding citizens who fear and respect authority; this is not the case in other regions I have served before,” says Ali.
Ali says he is ambitious and has had great young and old mentors, with his senior mentors being an unnamed County Commissioner and a County Secretary.
He says his inner ambitions are alive and are achievable, pressing on to achieve the best for the people of Eldama Ravine.
Ali, who has since the start of his mandate as DCC in Eldama Ravine Sub-county put politics aside, has maintained a professional relationship with the political class in the region.
He serves six electoral wards, namely Lembus, Lembus Kwen, Ravine, Mumeres (Maji Mazuri), Lembus Perkerra and Koibatek.
Ali remains impartial and says he is mandated to work with the ruling government to benefit the citizens and only relates with politicians where necessary.
Eldama Ravine is vast with social amenities, a growing business town and fast developing infrastructure with private businesses thriving.
At times, he pays impromptu visits to the sub-county hospital and is able to know how locals are served.
Eldama Ravine Deputy County Commissioner, Omar Ali, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Egerton University in Nakuru County and a Diploma in Public Administration from the Kenya School of Administration in Nairobi.
The author is a Journalist and a PR & Communication Expert.
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