Residents protest poor state of roads in Kerio Valley.

Kapsowar, Kenya News Agency (KNA), 12/11/2018

Residents and traders along the Kerio Valley of Elgeyo Marakwet County have complained over the poor state of roads in the region and called on the national government to urgently improve them.

The residents and matatu operators plying the Chesoi-Chesongoch-Tot route decried the pathetic condition of the road saying the inclement weather had made travelling a nightmare.

Speaking at Endo Catholic Parish on Sunday, during a mass service to celebrate 6 years of service of Fr Philemon Kiptoo as a priest, former Marakwet county council chairman Nandwa Chelanga said the road had become almost impassable, making it difficult for farmers to transport their farm produce, especially mangoes to the market.

He said thousands of tons of mangoes were going to waste in farms due to lack of transportation to market outside the area as most transporters have kept off the area due to the pathetic situation of the road.

“Just as you dodge one pothole it shouldn’t be a surprise that there is another one just waiting for your tyres. It doesn’t matter whether you’re part of Kerio Valley’s lower, middle or upper class,” said Mr Chelanga.

He said most businesses located in centres along the road have suffered stock shortages due to transport challenges facing the region.

Mr Chelanga also called for lasting solution to the problem of insecurity facing residents living along the Kerio Valley.

He said residents were still living in constant fear because of frequent attacks by bandits and cattle rustlers.

Meanwhile, church and political leaders along the Kerio Valley of Marakwet East will carry out massive campaigns to address Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the area.

Nominated MCAs Winnie Kanda and Neddy Kilimo, from Elgeyo Marakwet County said they would work closely with church leaders from the affected areas in the fight against FGM.

“This is the high season of FGM when the girls are at home from school and parents can take the opportunity to circumcise them. That’s why we are launching campaigns to contain the vice,” said Ms Kanda at Endo Catholic Parish.

The MCAs said in Marakwet, the practice is rooted in cultural practices and customary beliefs, part of ritual passing from childhood to adulthood.

“We must have an alternative rite of passage other than FGM. We should protect our girls education by discouraging outdated cultural practices,” said MCA Neddy.

Fr Kiptoo asked political leaders to support the church in fighting outdated cultural practices that hinder the development of girl-child education,’ said Fr Kiptoo.

The prelate asked professionals from the Kerio Valley to work as a team in addressing the challenges facing residents in the region.

Ends/Joseph Kimaiyo/KNA