KAPSOWAR – North Rift youth leaders have dismissed calls by Governors in the region to have Kerio Valley Development Authority disbanded for allegedly failing to execute its mandate.
Kerio Youths Association chairman accused Governors from the region under their bloc North Rift Economic Block (NOREB) over their calls to have the authority disbanded and its functions placed under their watch.
“We read politics in the move by the governors to demand the disbandment of KVDA which has initiated development projects that have transformed the lives of residents along the valley as well as provide employment opportunities for hundreds of people,” said Mr Kimaiyo.
Mr Kimaiyo said projects such as the Wei Wei irrigation project in Sigor, West Pokot County, Arror and Tot projects in Elgeyo Marakwet and the Kainuk irrigation projects in Turkana County were initiated by the authority and have greatly improved the lives of the people through farming activities.
The youths said counties in the region were among those, which get huge allocations amounting to billions of shillings but have failed to initiate projects that have direct impact on the lives of the people.
“Our counties in the North Rift get huge allocations from the national government but they have nothing on the ground to show in terms of development projects like the KVDA,” said Mr Kimaiyo.
“The governors should use the billions of shillings they are getting from the national government to start projects that can uplift the lives of the people and stop undermining the work of KVDA,” he added.
The youths said KVDA is a statutory body established in 1979 by an act of Parliament whose mandate is to manage and control exploitation of natural resources within the watersheds of River Turkwel and River Kerio and urged the governors to stop interfering with its work.
“We are reading politics in this issue of KVDA. These governors are not sincere in their calls to have it disbanded. They want to control the funds which are dispatched through the authority just like the way they don’t account for millions of shillings under their watch in their respective counties,” said Mr Kimaiyo.
He said residents in the region were happy that the management of KVDA since 2013 has gone beyond its mandate and helped broker peace among warring communities in the region of pasture and watering points.
“The relative peace being enjoyed in some areas of the North Rift is courtesy of efforts by KVDA management in preaching peace and reconciliation among different communities here in the valley,” said Mr Kimaiyo.
Mr Kimaiyo said food insecurity, unemployment and cattle rustling activities could have been a thing of the past along the valley had the governors and the management of KVDA worked together in exploiting the potentiality of the region.
“Our elected leaders including the governors have no option but to work together with the management of KVDA in addressing the challenges facing the people instead of undermining each other,” said Mr Kimaiyo.
ENDS/ Joseph Kiptoo/KNA